After getting their proverbial feet wet in the World Rally Championship (WRC) level just a couple of days ago with Rally de Espana 2012, John Powell and co-driver Mike Fennel may have to actually drive in ice next year, at WRC Rally Sweden with FORD M-Sport.
According to T&T’s Powell, you may have to mark February 7-10, 2013 on the calendar as he heads to Sweden with FORD M-Sport.
Powell’s drive in the event came to an unfortunate end when he had to withdraw after coming up with an ear infection.
Powell’s decision was based on the team doctor’s recommendations.
Apparently, the infection was putting the Caribbean rally icon under physical stress across the long stages and there was the issue of safety first and foremost.
Jamaica’s Fennel also agreed with Powell’s decision. He said: “WRC has been treating us good but there was the issue of health and safety at all times. Other guys from the Caribbean have been involved in WRC before, but we have done it first as a manufacturer’s team so that’s what made it historical. However, based on John’s health we decided that we could not continue.”
Powell added, “I believe this is a Caribbean thing, whether you are from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago or elsewhere. I want to thank everybody, I didn’t get here alone…I never believed for a moment that I got here by myself. It is with good, consistent support from the spectators, my fans, my family, the media, my sponsors, Trinidad’s rally club and marshals that we are here. This is why the decision I had to make was very difficult. However, we are happy to secure a deal with FORD M-Sport to do a few of the championship rounds next year.”
WRC legend, Petter Solberg drove well early in Rally de Espana but got into an unfortunate accident and was forced out of contention.
However, the experienced Solberg spoke highly about Powell joining the FORD M-Sport team.
Solberg said: “Powell is a very nice guy and he has so much passion for rallying and motorsport and it is great to see him here. Unfortunately he got sick but I think he likes this sport a lot, and I would like to see him drive again.”
WRC icon Sebastien Loeb successfully defended his Championship title with co-driver Daniel Elena in their Citroen DS 3 WRC, and has now clocked 250 WRC wins including Rally de Espana 2012.
This was Loeb`s eight overall victory in the Spanish round, thus winning all the editions held since the rally moved to the Costa Daurada. He said, “I am very happy to have won the RallyRACC once more and another World Championship. It was an amazing year for me, but next year I still don’t know what I will do.”
Jari-Matti Latvala was second in a FORD Fiesta RS WRC and Mikko Hirvonen was third in a Citroen DS 3 WRC.