Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - SPORT -

His fi­nal rally in the Fia academy Kart­ing Cham­pi­onship over the week­end may not have brought about the in­tended re­sults, but young sen­sa­tion alex Pow­ell says his ob­jec­tives were met for the most part, as he con­tin­ues to fine-tune for the Fia World Cham­pi­onship slated for next month.

The Amer­i­can-born Ja­maican and 35 other tal­ented driv­ers from around the world locked horns over three days of in­tense com­pe­ti­tion at South Garda Kart­ing in Lonato, Italy, where he ini­tially placed third over­all, but was later pe­nalised by the stewards at the event for mak­ing con­tact, and that time penalty re­sulted in his six­th­placed fin­ish.

How­ever, that set­back among oth­ers, were no great dis­ap­point­ment to Pow­ell, who re­cently achieved the feat of be­ing the first Ja­maican to se­cure pole po­si­tion at a kart­ing cham­pi­onship, as he still had the high­est-ever plac­ing among Caribbean driv­ers.

“This se­ries has a lot­tery sys­tem with the en­gines and they are changed af­ter ev­ery heat. So on Fri­day and Satur­day we strug­gled a bit with the per­for­mance of the kart and I had a did not fin­ish (DNF) in one of the heats af­ter col­lid­ing with an­other driver,” Pow­ell ex­plained.

“We also had wet con­di­tions on Satur­day which made it even more dif­fi­cult, but we seemed to have a bet­ter pack­age in the fi­nal on a sunny Sun­day. I started 12th due to the DNF and fought my way up and un­for­tu­nately a penalty set me down to sixth place. But, over­all I was very pleased with my per­for­mance in the fi­nal race,” he told the Ja­maica Ob­server yes­ter­day from his base in Italy where he will be sit­u­ated un­til De­cem­ber.

Know­ing very well that set­ting goals is the first step to ac­com­plish­ing any­thing mean­ing­ful, Pow­ell is con­stantly re­minded of not only the im­por­tance of set­ting goals and then work­ing hard to at­tain them, but to keep fight­ing even when the go­ing gets tough.

With one of his main goals be­ing to stand on the podium at the World Cham­pi­onship, the week­end run has added im­pe­tus to Pow­ell’s charge to ac­com­plish the his­toric feat.

“I tried my best with what­ever equip­ment I had. I am not used to the chas­sis I used be­cause it is given to the driv­ers by the or­gan­i­sa­tion, but I drove well in the wet and I per­formed well in the fi­nal.

“I would have liked a podium fin­ish here and it didn’t hap­pen, but I feel I am get­ting closer to it,” the 12year-old said with an air of con­fi­dence.

“This se­ries is now fin­ished, so now it’s back to prac­tise full speed, both phys­i­cally and men­tally for the World fi­nals in Por­tu­gal. It is go­ing to be a very tough event with over 120 of the world’s driv­ers, but I am go­ing out there to give it my best shot as al­ways,” added Pow­ell, who is still in his rookie sea­son.

Roger Brown of Ja­maica Kart­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (JKA) again lauded Pow­ell for his stub­born de­ter­mi­na­tion and pas­sion, which con­tin­ues to drive him closer to bring­ing his podium dream to fruition.

“Each time Alex takes the track, it’s a proud moment for our coun­try and a proud moment for the JKA and our sport. He is mak­ing his­tory.

“Alex’s strengths are truly awe­some and tena­cious, even with the huge chal­lenges the sport and the com­pe­ti­tion has at this, the high­est level,” Brown rea­soned.

“Alex had a chal­leng­ing qual­i­fy­ing phase, but he held his own in the heats, es­pe­cially in very wet con­di­tions with a much more ex­pe­ri­enced field.

“It was just a very unfortunat­e, and also very con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion by the stew­ard, who was crit­i­cised for ques­tion­able de­ci­sions over the week­end. But such is the na­ture of the sport. Notwith­stand­ing, a great ef­fort and very good rep­re­sen­ta­tion from Alex on the FIA In­ter­na­tional stage,” he ended.

Ja­maica’s Alex Pow­ell heads back to the garage af­ter one of his races at the Ok-ju­nior FIA Kart­ing Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in Wack­ers­dorf, Ger­many, last month.

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