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POWELL and FENNELL - NACAM RALLY 2012 - 2nd Overall

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rcadiz
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POWELL and FENNELL - NACAM RALLY 2012 - 2nd Overall

Postby rcadiz » April 18th, 2012, 11:52 pm

TTRC driver and 2012 Rally Trinidad Winner John 'Penti' Powell has teamed up with Jamaican co-driver Michael Fennell (Panton's navi) to contest the FIA NACAM Rally Championship. The TRI/JAM team touched down in Mexico yesterday to do the first round of the Championship this weekend in Puebla Mexico.

The NACAM Rally Championship is contested over 6 rounds as follows:
April 20-21 - Mexico (132km)
May 18-20 - Mexico
July 6-8 - Costa Rica
Aug 30-Sep 2 - Peru
Oct 12-14 - Panama
Nov 16-18 - Colombia

There are 16 entries in the Championship from 8 countries (see pic below), however each round of the Championship will have many more drivers. The entry list for the first event this weekend has just over 40 teams. So far Powell's biggest competition will be from Ricardo Trivino (MEXICO) who has raced at WRC level internationally for a number of years (placed 10th in Rally Mexico driving a Ford Fiesta RS - just 23min behind Loeb). He has won the NACAM championship before and will be at home this weekend for sure. However Trivino went to Rally Jamaica in 2008 and was not comfortable against Caribbean competition and did not finish, so who knows.

John is surely putting Trinidad and Caribbean Rallying on the map with this attempt. Powell is one of the Caribbean's top drivers with the Rally Jamaica ('11), Rally Trinidad ('05, '06, '10, '12), and Rally Guadeloupe ('10) titles to his name. He will be heading to Barbados in June to attempt the 3-peat of Regional Rallying, something that has never been accomplished in the same year. One can only imagine the spotlight on Trinidad and Jamaica if he were to do well in the NACAM championship this year. If he does well, he will become an FIA seeded driver which opens a world of possibility internationally for even larger events. For this championship however he will be competing in a Mitsubishi Evo IX - Group N which he should be extremely comfortable in as this is his 4th time owning one.

I received an email from Mike Fennell this morning and he had this to say
Hi Robert,
John and I got into Mexico City at 6:30 last night, along with Peter Clarke from Jamaica. Phil Marks arrived shortly after us, but Neil Buckley missed his connection and now gets in at midday today.
We attended a reception last night where we met some of the competitors and officials.
The car is on the port and is due to come out at 11 today, all being well.
As soon as Neil gets in we'll be heading to Puebla which is a 2hr journey.


Phil Marks is the world renowned Evo tuner and Neil Buckley will be managing the car for John. Neil heads Dom Buckley Motorsport, the company responsible for many of John's WRC cars, and wins with them of course.

What is crazy about this Rally is that it is 132km in 1 DAY! You are only allowed to recce the course on Friday with 2 passes through each stage. INSANE! but that is competition at the top level and it shows you have to be very on with your note taking and preparation. Thank God for GoPro!

See some pics below and stay tuned to this post for updates on John and Mike's progress for the Championship. Kindly keep the posts relevant as they will be monitored for spam, in order to keep it very newsworthy.

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Mike Fennell (JAM) / John Powell (TRI)

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At the lower right you can see Jose Abed - VP FIA and head of NACAM, the woman at the back is the driver of the SEAT

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John is listed as being from Jamaica, possibly a typo - hopefully we can have this rectified.
Last edited by rcadiz on April 23rd, 2012, 11:17 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby professor » April 19th, 2012, 1:13 pm

At the lower right you can see Jose Abed - VP FIA and head of NACAM,

John is listed as being from Jamaica, possibly a typo - hopefully we can have this rectified.


Best of luck John. :onfire:

Robert, Is this FIA and NACAM the same organisations that the NGB for Motor Sport represents, the same one the Rally Club refuses to be affiliated with? :shock:

Where did John get his FIA licence from? If Jamaica, that’s why they thinks he represents Jamaica. :?:

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby rcadiz » April 19th, 2012, 2:20 pm

Professor, very politely John Powell is a member of the TTRC, and has raced with a TnT license issued by TTASA for about the last 15 years. The fact that TTRC doesn't affiliate with TTASA has nothing to do with John entering the NACAM championship.
- John went to NACAM on his own accord
- Was accepted on his own merit based on his regional achievements
- Is self funded with no other assistance
- and in spite of some rumoured difficulty with having his TnT license renewed still manages to get the TnT flag flown in Mexico. We still do not know what license he eventually got. If he was forced to go outside of Trinidad to do this then shame on us for that.

No TnT representative has ever reached to this level of international Rallying and i would hate to think that the local NGB is attempting to take kudos for this simply because its a NACAM event. This is NOT a TTRC initiative either, and John is doing this 100% on his own accord. This post is about the Team's progress, and to keep everyone in the loop and not to get into an unnecessary discussion about TTRC's affiliation status.

The TTRC has proven beyond any doubt that we are the nation's best organization for High Speed Stages Rallying, and have the blessing from NACAM as one of the Region's top Rallies that will be part of an official Caribbean Championship soon enough. The ASN is fully aware of the TTRC's affiliation criteria, and it is not simply that we refuse.

If anyone wants to continue talking about TTASA and TTRC, then kindly start your own post and i will be happy to oblige. Now hopefully we can have a post that supports Powell and Fennell, and keeping with up with their performances, rather than polluting it with local politics.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby professor » April 19th, 2012, 2:35 pm

I support John fully, I have alot of respect for him.
As to the recent rally, well done, congratulations to your team.
I would abide by your wish to make no further comments which might be deemed 'Political'.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby AutoSport » April 19th, 2012, 3:02 pm

Let us all get behind John and Mike and give them our fullest support, prayers for a safe event, and hope that they can finally have a great finish to hoist the Caribbean to the level that we know we can reach.

With John's driving spirit, and pun and everything else intended, he has proven that nothing and no one will stop him in his quest to achieve his goal of aiming for the stars.

He has proudly flown the T&T Flag for years will certainly make all of us proud.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby Sinister_Audio » April 19th, 2012, 3:12 pm

*flings gopro and hope it sticks on car*

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby IRSHAAD » April 19th, 2012, 3:19 pm

is anyone bringing any form of coverage of this event?

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby foss » April 19th, 2012, 3:28 pm

good luck to them both!

wishing them the best on their journey from start to finish!!!

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby rcadiz » April 19th, 2012, 3:35 pm

IRSHAAD wrote:is anyone bringing any form of coverage of this event?


Unfortunately all the websites are in Spanish so online updates may be difficult to read other than just seeing the position. Phone service is also not 100% reliable. But the hotel has wireless so Mike and John have promised as many updates to us then we will share with the forum.

Keep checking NACAM Rally Championship on facebook to see what is available as well.

If updates come from any other sources they are free to post.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby Mini » April 19th, 2012, 3:44 pm

Good luck to the team

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby cinco » April 19th, 2012, 4:10 pm

good luck!

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby wagon r » April 19th, 2012, 8:03 pm

...good luck and God's speed to Penti and Mike.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby tr1ad » April 19th, 2012, 8:45 pm

hmmm in May i'll be in Houston... maybe a roadtrip to Mexico with a trini flag in hand

good luck to the team

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby sliderz1 » April 19th, 2012, 8:45 pm

good to see some co-operation between the islands

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby Garrett Inside » April 19th, 2012, 8:53 pm

Good luck Mr. John Powell, you have been and always will be an inspiration to us all

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby kurpal_v2 » April 19th, 2012, 9:54 pm

Goodluck to both!!


Penti ftmfw :lol:

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby Scort » April 19th, 2012, 10:06 pm

Buena suerte John and Mike. May your minds be focused, your hands be swift and your feet sink like lead onto the right pedal......Give dem hell boys!!!!

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby ttundra » April 19th, 2012, 11:06 pm

All the best!
Blessings!

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby sio » April 20th, 2012, 12:00 am

Good luck boys, to the caribbeans boys.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby cornfused » April 20th, 2012, 11:43 am

Good luck to Powell and the rally team , and thanks to those who made this possible including the rally clubs , international facilitators , local and international sponsors (Shell Lubricants seems to be one)

Trinidad and Jamaica leading the Caribbean , patiently awaits and international rally to be a main stay for our motorsports calendar, coastal roads not just cane fields

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby rcadiz » April 20th, 2012, 1:02 pm

UPDATE 2 - FRIDAY

Spoke with Penti and Mike last night and again this morning. Unfortunately the car did not clear yesterday so testing was impossible. This is not good as the Rally is at 2200m above sea level which means that the car will be down on power with the thinner air, as well as the boiling point of water is lower which means that they will not have the heat threshold that they are accustomed to in the tropics at 10m above sea level. But not to worry expert Mitsubishi tuner Phil Marks teaming up with Neil Buckley should have the car in pristine order. The car should be out and delivered to them by 2pm today where the crew will work through the night to make all the necessary adjustments. Unfortunately this means that the first few stages with the car will probably be the first chance at a real shakedown.

From John
'Since we are not going to be able to test before the Rally, the plan is to use the first couple of stages to shake down the car. I think we should be comfortable in the car by lunch and then we will see what we have to do.'

John will surely not be too comfortable with the rush, but his experience with the Evo IX and with a quality navi such as Fennell, he should acclimatize pretty quickly.

John confirmed that he is racing under the TnT banner so it is a typo with the entry list. This is great news and should really help to put TnT on the map of Rallying and knowing John's diplomatic ability, he will surely be promoting Trinidad as a Rally destination for 2013 and beyond. Mike will also be doing the same for Jamaica i am sure.

John confirmed that there is a field of 10 Group N cars which are in this event, with 5 entered into the official Championship. John is seeded 2nd behind Trivino, apparently the NACAM officials have watched John in countless Youtube videos, and from his recent wins in Trinidad and Jamaica, apparently he is rated quite highly going into this series. Regional rallying should feel really good about this.

Today is the Recce Day, and the crazy part is that you are only allowed to recce twice per stage. There seems to be 4 different stages which will run twice each making up the 132km mileage. John has never done pace notes with this type of restriction so its going to be interesting what he has to say later tonight. They had to check out of the hotel on a target time for this to be monitored as well. John said there was a Rally Steward signing you out at a specific time and only then you were allowed to proceed to the stages over 2 hours away.

To add more fire (literally) to the situation, the stages are 7km from an active volcano and many of the teams were seen wearing nose covers this morning heading out. Talk about fish out of water for the Caribbean boys!

So that seems to be the update so far. John and Mike are on the stages doing notes, and the car should be delivered to the service crew in about an hour or so, for them to begin work with the tuning and other preparations.

I will hopefully get a chance to talk to John and Mike later and post some pics. For now check out the stage map. Seems to be 7 stages as i indicated before, from my interpretation the following is the stage directory.
Stage 1 - 20km
Stage 2 - 12km
Stage 3 - 18km
SERVICE - 1hr
Stage 4 - 20km
Stage 5 - 12km
Stage 6 - 18km
SERVICE - 1hr
then the long Stage 7 - 28km

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby rcadiz » April 20th, 2012, 4:04 pm

UPDATE 3

John and Mike have completed pace notes and are at scrutineering now. Everything is being inspected minus a very key component - their car!. No car as yet which is worrying but they have been assured it will reach them at 8pm tonight. John is apparently in good spirits though as he is comfortable with the note taking today.

As far as the notes go they have said that the stages are fast and dusty - hmmm....right at home for Mr. Powell if i were a betting man. Mike Fennell commented that the stages can be compared to the Lydford mines stages in Jamaica. But going through the stages to take notes they had to be very focused to get everything done in 2 passes per stage. The 20km stage will probably have 10-12 pages of notes by the time they are re-written.

Have a look at 1 of 4 pages of the 20km stage notes from today.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby Garrett Inside » April 20th, 2012, 5:27 pm

^Algebra? I did not know rally drivers were mathematicians?

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby djaggs » April 20th, 2012, 5:44 pm

F#$^ing awesome !!! 8-)

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby AutoSport » April 20th, 2012, 6:09 pm

Looking forward to Robbie coming back and putting some English sub-titles to the first two lines so the plebs can start to learn some Mexican!

Don't forget, left to right, right to left or down like the Chinese.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby tr1ad » April 20th, 2012, 7:13 pm

aye aye

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby bonzo.specb » April 20th, 2012, 8:21 pm

Best of luck to the guys. 8-)

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby rcadiz » April 20th, 2012, 8:59 pm

UPDATE 4

So a bit of bad news, Penti has not gotten the car as yet. The last update as of about 5 minutes ago was that the car is leaving the port at midnight tonight and they won't receive the car until 4am. This means no shakedown, no testing, not even able to adjust the driver's seat. So they have to start early tomorrow and they have no opportunity to set the car up.

The ceremonial start was this evening and they were excused without penalty. Its tough being in another country with the language barrier but to hear that John has not even sat in the car yet is disappointing for an event of this calibre. Word is that its a paperwork issue with customs which is no fault of John's. Sad as this is a completely unneeded pressure at this stage.

Other than that John and Mike have said that the hospitality has been really good. Mike Fennell even spotted a bottle of Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum in a nearby shop. Hopefully we'll be seeing some Trini flavour there by the next event.

Mike Fennell sent some pics a short while ago.

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Police escort for the start

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One of the 2WD Lancers

Well they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger so hopefully it will be all good news from here on in. Will keep you all updated. The event has started and John and Mike are flying the flags and hopes of Caribbean Rallying. If they can put their stamp on this Rally, all of Caribbean Rallying will surely gain some major recognition on the international scene. Folks fingers crossed T-minus a few hours.

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby foss » April 20th, 2012, 11:42 pm

damn, talk about bad luck!

hope there is only only smooth sailing from here on in!

Good luck again guys!!!

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Re: POWELL and FENNELL compete in 2012 NACAM Rally Champions

Postby rcadiz » April 20th, 2012, 11:46 pm

Shots from the Opening. TnT and Jamaica flag flying high....Great feeling..

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Favourite and Number 1 Seed Ricardo Trivino
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