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« on: December 20, 2011, 10:29:47 AM »

Rally champ Powell swears by Subaru

BY KESI ASHER Observer writer

Friday, December 09, 2011



THE dust has long settled on Sunday's staging of the Rally Jamaica 2011 Championship. However, victorious driver John Powell has every confidence that his car choice played a critical role.

"The Subaru cars have a lot of power and they handle exceptionally well. We have had good luck with Subaru, winning both Trinidad and Guadeloupe rallies. In 2012, we plan to win Rally Barbados as well," said the Jamaica-born Powell, who competes for Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).

John Powell (right) and co-driver Trinidadian Nicholas Telfer pose with super car and Rally Jamaica winner, the 2010 WRC Subaru Impreza S14. According to Powell, only eight such rally cars exist in the world. (Photo: Hurbun Williams)
[Hide Description] John Powell (right) and co-driver Trinidadian Nicholas Telfer pose with super car and Rally Jamaica winner, the 2010 WRC Subaru Impreza S14. According to Powell, only eight such rally cars exist in the world. (Photo: Hurbun Williams)
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Paired with co-driver Nicholas Telfer in their Subaru WRC S14, Powell showed determination to snatch the championship from Barbados' Sean Gill/Michael Cummins in their Suzuki SX4 WRC, who finished ahead of defending champion Gary Gregg/Hugh Hutchinson.

"Rally Jamaica 2011 was nail biting, the lead was swopped about three or four times. It has been the closest rally in Jamaica in a long time. My good friend Gary Gregg had some problems and Jeffery Panton, who I believe is probably the best driver in the Caribbean, was driving a car with less power than our WRC cars," Powell said.

Powell also finished first in his JA9 class with an overall time of 1:32:03.742, mere milliseconds ahead of Sean Gill.

"It was down to Sean Gill and I, Sean was driving well so we had to strategise. Going into Bernard Lodge [in St Catherine], we were about one second behind Sean and we decided to go for it then and there and we beat him, that's where we won the rally," he continued.

Powell also received the overall Drivers Champion 2011 for T&T. This award given to the driver who accumulates the most points in all the 2011 series. Last year, he placed second in Drivers Championship after winning Rally Trinidad and Rally Guadeloupe.

"I feel great to have won the Drivers Championship as well as Rally Jamaica in the same year, this is phenomenal for us," said Powell.

He said he left Jamaica for Trinidad and Tobago 11 years ago as his shipping career mandated the move. He is currently working in the oil and gas sector.

"I started racing in Jamaica in 1993 and came close to winning the rally before. I placed third twice and placed second three times, I've tried so many times to win it. That just goes to show if you really want something bad enough you just have to keep doing it and one day it will be yours," he said.

The driver said he had inherited his determination from his father, the late JLP politician DK Powell.


Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/auto/Rally-champ-Powell-swears-by-Subaru_10349286#ixzz1h5a4ORhR
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