The Force Motorsport line up will expand to three cars for the upcoming fourth round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel.
Regular team driver Andrew Hawkeswood will continue his chase of an elusive NZRC title in the Mazda 2 AP4+ car, but the team will also be running last year’s rally winner, Australian Brendan Reeves in a new Mazda 2 AP4 and Hawkeswood’s son Jack, driving a Mazda RX7.
Hawkeswood currently sits third in the standings, with he and co-driver Jeff Cress having been amongst the pace setters at each of the opening three rounds. The pair will be looking to put niggling mechanical issues behind him to close the 14-point gap between themselves and the series lead.
Meanwhile Reeves comes to the event for a one of appearance driving the team’s brand new Mazda 2 AP4. The new car sees a smaller 1600cc engine than Hawkeswood’s AP4+ car which under the regulations allows a lighter minimum weight and after initial testing Reeves was encouraged by the potential of the car.
Reeves and co-driver Ben Searcy are considered to be the biggest threat for outright victory to Kiwi WRC superstar Hayden Paddon at the Whitianga-based event, which sees 79 cars taking on the special stages.
The third car in the team will be piloted by Jack Hawkeswood. After a tough debut to national rallying, Hawkeswood junior will this time pilot the open-two wheel drive specification Mazda RX7 with which he has secured plenty of success at local rally sprint events over the past year. He will also have the experience of former Production World Rally Championship competitor Mark Tapper in the co-drivers seat.
“It’s going to be a big event for the whole team. Obviously from our point of view, championship points are crucial and we’ll be pushing hard to score plenty of them,” says Hawkeswood. “It’ll be good to see Brendo in the new car also, he will certainly show us what the new Mazda is capable.”
The Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel sees teams leave the Mercury Bay Sports Park from 7am on Saturday 26 August, with teams taking on 125 kilometres of special stages all over the Coromandel Peninsula before returning to the finish in Whitianga’s Blacksmith Lane from 5pm.
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