Despite the disappointment of a penalty that robbed him a podium finish in Czech Republic at the weekend, Jamaica's young sensation Alex Powell left that second round of the FIA European Karting Championship feeling confident that he can truly take the fight to the leading lights in the hunt to create more history this year.

The American-born Powell, who just missed out on an historic top-three finish in last year's overall championship, has once again established himself as a main contender for those coveted top spot in the OK category, as he sits third in the current standing on 96 points with two more rounds to come.

Italian Gabriel Gomez holds pole position on 150 points ahead of Dutchman Rene Lammers (136 points). Latvia's Tomass Stolcermanis (86 points) and Nathaniel Tye (60 points) of Great Britain complete the latest top five.

This follows a riveting second round battle on the demanding 1223-metre Steel Ring track in Trinec, where the winding, hilly layout, offered challenges for the drivers and technicians, especially amid changeable conditions.

In the end it was Gomez who maintained his composure best and, finished tops ahead of Lammers and another Italian Sebastiano Pavan.

Powell initially placed second, but was later penalized and, as such, had to settle for fourth.

"It was a difficult weekend, but we were strong in the final once again which is always a positive because the aim always to challenge for the podium. Naturally, I was very disappointed about the five second penalty at first, but there are a number of positive takeaways and so we will just focus on those and make the necessary switch to take the next two rounds as they come," Powell said from his base in Italy.

With the next round of the European Championships set for June 15-18 in Rodby, Denmark, Powell is eyeing significant improvements to ensure he remains in contention to possibly pull off the historic feat of being the first Jamaican or Caribbean driver to be crowned overall European champion.

Before that, the 15-year-old will have the Champions of the Future event to navigate from May 31 to July 3, also in Denmark, which should assist in his preparation for the bigger event. He is currently second on the Champions of the Future standings.

"The European Championships is definitely not over yet for sure I will be looking to improve on those results over the next two rounds and try my hardest to keep up with those ahead of me," Powell, a cousin to former 100m World record holder, Asafa Powell, said.

"Being in third position at the moment really encourages me to put my best foot forward, like i said, we had good pace in the final and so I’m hoping we will be even faster in the races to come and I really want to take that next step up onto the podium," he added.

With this possibly being his final year in karting, Powell, a Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 protege, who was denied the overall honours by a mere two points last year, is determined to close this chapter of his career with a bang.

"There is a chance we can do something special this year and I obviously have more experience now too, which gives me the confidence to push harder.

“If things go well, I honestly believe we can compete with the top guys and cause them some trouble. It’s a really strong field and the leading four drivers in the championship will all be aiming to hold their positions, but my goal is to close the gap going int to the final round and from there, anything is possible," Powell noted.

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