Overtaking the challenges
Powell taking positives from challenging FIA Karting season
Alex Powell braces for the start of a qualifying heat in wet conditions at the FIA World Karting Championships in Sarno, Italy, on Sunday

"It's a day to remember some things and also to forget others."

Those are the sentiments of young karting sensation Alex Powell, undoubtedly frustrated by the fact that his birthday wish of clinching a historic podium finish for Jamaica and the Caribbean at the FIA Karting World Championships did not materialise.

When Powell celebrated his 15th birthday on Sunday's final day of the four-day championship in Sarno, Italy, he would have hoped for some favour from the motorsport gods, but it was not to be.

After starting the the final in 12th position, the American-born Powell slipped to 18th in a field of 36 drivers, but drove his heart out to finish fourth, only to be penalised for a sporting incident, which pushed him back down the pack in the OK category.

POWELL... I don't think luck was necessarily on our side, we definitely weren't unlucky, but at the same time we weren't the luckiest.

Matheus Morgatto became the first Brazilian to win a World Championship title, dethroning Finland's Tuukka Taponen who was second with Oscar Pedersen of Sweden in third.

"It's a mixed bag of emotions, to be honest," Powell told the Jamaica Observer from his base in Italy. "On one hand, you look at it and you think considering where you fell to on the first lap it was a good comeback, but then on the other hand, you are thinking what would have happened if we didn't fall that far back."

"So that's one of the things that hurts a little bit more because it's a case of so close yet so far, but motorsport is like that. I don't think luck was necessarily on our side, we definitely weren't unlucky, but at the same time we weren't the luckiest," he added with a laugh, seemingly finding a funny side to how things unfolded.

In fact, Powell suffered a series of unfortunate incidents leading up to the final, to include, but not limited to, traffic and engine problems, which robbed him an opportunity at a better position in the main event.

Jamaica's Alex Powell in action during the final round of the Champions of the Future Euro Series in Franciacorta, Italy, on Sunday, June 26, 2022.

"It was a strange day to celebrate a birthday because you want to celebrate, but you also had to ensure you were focused. So it was a pretty unique experience having my birthday on such an important race weekend.

"Finishing fourth was a good result, but again it's a bit frustrating because if things had happened more in my favour, we could have had a pretty good chance of winning but again that's motorsport sometimes," Powell said.

Still, instead of reeling in the disappointment, Powell is opting to focus on the high points of a season in which he won two races in the ultra-competitive four-race FIA Karting European Championships, while placing third in another.

"We need to take the positives out of this weekend and like we have done all season, look at what we did right and wrong. I think the mistakes from my side were limited when compared to previous races, so that's a step in the right direction and we just need to keep working on that," he reasoned.

"Disregarding the penalty, I think it was a good comeback and it shows the potential for us to secure more podium finishes as we go forward. So we need to keep working hard, minimise mistakes and if we can continue on the path that we were on leading into the World Championships, then we should have a pretty good season next year."

Powell, a Mercedes-AMG F1 protege, will again grace the track in Lonato, Italy, next week for the WSK Open Cup, followed by a few more races to close the 2022 season.

"I am looking forward to finishing on a high, the big races are now out the way, so these are just early preparation races to make sure that we are even more competitive next year," he said.

"It's a long way to go and a lot of work to do but we have shown we can compete, so we are going to keep pushing to achieve better results because we know all the other drivers will be doing the same."

Sherdon Cowan

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