Still on course!
Powell remains third in FIA European Champs despite sixth-placed finish in penultimate raceSaturday, July 17, 2021
BY SHERDON COWAN
With things not going how he intended in the recent leg of the FIA Karting European Championships, Jamaica's Alex Powell is now on a mission to right the wrongs, as he hopes to complete a historic podium finish in the OK-Junior category.
Powell, who entered the penultimate leg of the coveted championship on the back of a win — his third career win in the OK-Junior category — at the WSK Euro Series where he just missed taking the overall championship title for the series by a mere three points, was brimming with confidence of repeating the feat in Sarno, Italy.
While he produced top performances in four of the five heats, even winning one, the American-born sensation failed to replicate those efforts, as he lost speed and power after leading the pack for the first five laps of the 16-lap final. However, he did well to stick around for sixth in a field of 36 drivers.
The British duo of Harley Keeble and Freddie Slater, who Powell defeated in the WSK Euro Series, took the top spots with Brazil's Matheus Ferreira taking third.
Despite the sixth-place finish, Powell, who still occupies third position on 52 points, behind Slater (70 points) and Ferreira (61 points) in the run for overall championship, took some positives from the outing.
“There is a little disappointment in terms of how things went in the final but I know I did my best so at the end it wasn't terrible, it was still positive in terms of how we performed in the heats and I am happy with that.
“We are still in the top three so we are still quite positive; we won the pre-heats on Saturday, which earned us some points and we now know what we need to improve with the chassis for the next round, so the team and I will see what we can improve to come back stronger,” Powell told the Jamaica Observer shortly after arriving in Spain for another event.
The 13-year-old KR Motorsport representative pointed out that this second round of the Champions of the Future event, which gets under way in Zuera today, will be used to address all the misfortunes he had to ensure he is at his best for the final round of the European Championships scheduled for the same venue on July 22-25.
“All the drivers from European Championship will also be at this race to have better preparation, so it is still quite a valuable race to win or do well in because it also gives you a confidence boost going into next weekend. So we will definitely be trying a lot of different things this weekend so we can have a better outcome in the final,” noted Powell, who is currently joint second in the three-round Champions of the Future series.
“So this weekend is a bit more of a preparation race for the big one next week and so we will be using that to address some issues; will be testing different things so we have a better idea of what we need to do right next weekend,” he added.
Though his latest performance saw him gradually losing ground on Slater in the European Championship, Powell has not given up on his chance of snaring the overall title, as there is still a glimmer of hope that he can overhaul the leader provided he executes a near-perfect race next weekend.
“I think there is still a bit of a chance that I can win the championship so I am going into the last round with the same mentality which is to try my best to win and then we will see what happens in the overall at the end.
“I would love a win but at the moment it looks more like a podium because it will be very difficult to win the championship from here, but anything is still possible, so I will be pushing just as hard for hopefully a win in the race and a win in the overall championships,” Powell shared.
Regardless of the outcome, Powell only needs to maintain his spot in the top three of the overall championship to once again etch his name in the annals of Jamaica's karting history.
“Mentally I am determined, still confident, especially because I know that I am doing the best that I can. I would be happy with a podium finish, of course a win would be nicer, but wherever I finish on the podium would be nice because I have worked hard all of last year and this year for this championship.
“So it would definitely mean a lot to me and again it would boost my confidence for the rest of the year,” he ended.
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