Powell gets a dose of WRC fever

Powell gets a dose of WRC fever

Article by Rodney Granado and Narend Sooknarine

SPAIN. John Powell, Trinidad and Tobago’s top rally driver had his first full-fledged experience on the Gandesa, Pesells 1 and Terra Alta 1 WRC stages in Cataluna, Spain on Friday morning. Local media teams from Trinidad & Tobago were positioned at the start of the first stage and observed Powell and Jamaican co-driver Mike Fennell Jr. in fine form compared to the previous day’s practice and qualifying runs driving the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC.

Continuous rains gave the drivers an extra challenge in the early Gandesa gravel stage and carried on towards mid-afternoon.  A common problem with most drivers was combating the frosted glass from the combined colder outside temperature and warmer car interior.  Temperatures varied between 6-11 degrees Celsius earlier in the day with heavy fog along the Gandesa stage but most of the drivers including Powell managed a safe finish.  Fast forward to stage three and Powell experienced some dizzy spells during a pass due to extreme exhaustion related to the excitement WRC.  According to FORD M-SPORT`s press release today, Powell said

Wow. It looks easy on TV, but it is definitely not! It was very challenging. It took a while to acclimatise to the new car on the first stage [SS1]. Then on the second one [SS2] I felt as though we were getting into it a little bit better until we saw so many cars scattered all over the road. The third stage [SS3], I think was the most difficult stage of my life and I will not be embarrassed to tell you that I had to stop – I had to stop for maybe 30 seconds, just to catch my breath.  It is so challenging mentally and physically. I actually had to go and shake Sébastien’s [Loeb] hand. He told me it was difficult for him too, but somehow I don’t quite believe him.”

The newest stage for 2012 was based on the gorgeous Salou beachfront where drivers tested their dexterity skills through a tightly woven network of twists and turns before a massive crowd. Powell saw a team doctor and was treated but he hopes for another start tomorrow morning at the La Mussara 1, Riba Roja Ebre 1 and El Priorat 1 from 8:00 a.m.

Coverage sponsored in part by The Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Sport
Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Sport

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