One of the Caribbean's top rally drivers, John Powell, will join the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team as a nominated points' scorer for RACC Rally de Espana next month.
Although Powell's inclusion alongside Ott Tanak was already public knowledge, after the FIA let 'the cat out of the bag' when it published the manufacturers' entry list earlier this month for the WRC's season finale, it was only on Friday that it was officially confirmed by the Cumbrian-based outfit.
Hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, Powell will be the first ever driver from his homeland to compete behind the wheel of the latest generation of World Rally Cars when he takes to the wheel of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC and unsurprisingly, he is very excited about the opportunity he has been given.
“The World Rally Championship is undoubtedly the highest level of competition in rallying. It is every driver's dream to compete in the WRC and against the world's best,” said the defending Rally Jamaica Champion. “At the moment I am competing in the NACAM (North American, Central American and Mexican) series as well as the Caribbean Championships, and have always had a keen interest in somehow finding a way to the WRC. When the opportunity arose for a seat with M-Sport at Rally de España, there was only one answer!
“M-Sport is one of the biggest names in the world when it comes to rallying and it is a real pleasure to be driving for them in Spain.
“They have an incredibly decorated history in the sport. It's a fantastic team, and I am looking forward to an unforgettable experience on the event – and also the opportunity to race against the other M-Sport and Ford drivers.”
While Spain will mark his debut appearance in the WRC, Powell is determined to try and do as well as possible: “Obviously our first aim is to go out there and finish strongly,” he continued. “We really want to be on the overall standings by the end of the event. I am anticipating a fast field though as there are a number of drivers who are still fighting for points and with this being the last event, they are going to be quick.
“The focus is a bit different for us as it's our first time in the WRC, but we are eligible to score points for M-Sport so that is definitely a motivating factor to go as fast as we can.”
“I think for the most part competing [in Spain] is going to show me first-hand what it takes to compete at the highest level.
“And then I'll be able to apply what I have learnt when I get back to my Regional events in 2013 where I hope to be able to share this knowledge with my fellow local drivers,” he added.