Powell proud of Rally Jamaica 2011 triumph

Powell proud of Rally Jamaica 2011 triumph

Written by Editor

Topics: Auto Racing, Sports

For John Powell, the Jamaican-born rally car driver who races under the flag of Trinidad & Tobago – the country where he has resided for the past 11 or so years, winning the coveted Rally Jamaica 2011 championship evoked a feeling that was almost beyond words. Teaming up with co-driver Nicholas Telfer a Subaru Impreza S14 WRC, Powell realised his dream of securing the top spot at the event, which was held from December 2 to 4.

John Powell/Nicholas Telfer in a Subaru Impreza S14 WRC

John Powell (right) and Nicholas Telfer (left)

“Winning Rally Jamaica is more than words can say. I first saw this Rally back in the 1990s with Jeffrey Panton, Peter Moodie, Pinky McGann, Chris Issa, David Summerbell…I could go on with the names of drivers who were very good in their day and now to have my name in the record books with them…I mean, I am so delighted…words can’t say,” stated Powell.

“The car was fantastic. We had some problems [on day two] and I was really frustrated the car but by lunchtime the mechanics and the engineers were able to rectify it. I still couldn’t understand why we were going so slowly compared to Gary Gregg, Jeffrey and Sean Gill, and [on the final] morning we just came out and gave it all or nothing and we won all the stages except one I think, so it was really good for us,” he added.

The elation was clearly etched on his face, while a side dent representing a battle scar was evident on a Subaru Impreza S14 WRC that was pushed to the limit.

“On day two we were in the mud…the disc wasn’t working so I came around the corner and went for the power and just got wheel spin and we slipped straight into one of Mr. McConnell’s orange trees, so I hope he doesn’t charge me for it!”

Finishing in second place was the Barbadian team of Sean Gill and Michael Cummins in a Suzuki SX4 WRC and the Jamaican duo of Gary Gregg and Hugh Hutchinson in a Ford Focus WRC.

Sean Gill and Michael Cummins (2nd Place) from Barbados in a Suzuki SX4 WRC

Jamaican duo of Gary Gregg/Hugh Hutchinson (3rd Place) in a Ford Focus WRC

Powell, a Kingston Technical High School past student, started driving competitively started in 1993, and came close to winning Rally Jamaica on a few occasions. He’s missed only one Rally Jamaica in the past 10 years, and entered the 2011 competition on the heels of winning Rally Trinidad and Rally Guadeloupe last year.

“This win is the best of all for me. To win in my hometown, my home country…it’s really fantastic. Words can’t explain how happy I am. Thanks for all the support that everyone has given me over the years. It just goes to show that if you keep trying and trying, one day you will get it.”

Powell indicated that he plans to regroup for next year and compete in Rally Trinidad in March, Rally Barbados in June and Rally Guadeloupe in July before returning to Jamaica later in the year to defend his Rally Jamaica championship.

John Powell gets a congratulatory kiss from his wife Claudia.

Scotland's Allan MacKay and Maurice Downey in a Ford Anglia

The water splash stage in Wakefield, St Catherine

Richard Rerrie/Winston Dawson in a Subaru Impreza WRX

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