NZ rally champion to expand program into the USA
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NZ rally champ to expand program into the USA

Andrew Hawkeswood
New Zealand Champion, Andrew Hawkeswood, will contest rallies in the USA in 2018. Photo: Peter Whitten

New Zealand Rally Champion, Andrew Hawkeswood, will head to the United States of America this year for several events in his AP4 Mazda 2.

The move overseas is part of a big season for Hawkeswood, who will also defend his NZRC title, beginning with the Otago Rally in April.

“We have put a new 2-litre engine into the 2017 car and are sending that to the USA after the Leadfoot Festival in February,” Hawkeswood told RallySport Magazine.

“We are only planning on doing a few rounds in the USA, and possibly Rally Barbados at this stage.”

Andrew Hawkeswood will send his Mazda 2 AP4 to the USA for some events in 2018. Photo: Peter Whitten

With regular co-driver Jeff Cress again in the passenger seat, Hawkeswood and his Force Motorsport team will contest all rounds of the New Zealand Rally Championship in a brand new 1600cc AP4 spec Mazda 2.

The team have also rebuilt the front-wheel drive Mazda 2 that his son, Jack Hawkeswood, crashed heavily in last year’s Otago Rally. Jack will also contest the full NZRC. (See video below. Warning: coarse language)

“We have support from Mazda New Zealand again and we are working hard to get Mazda USA on board as they are releasing the Mazda 2 in the USA in 2018,” Hawkeswood said.

Andrew Hawkeswood, Otago Rally 2017

Hawkeswood’s NZ-built Mazda 2 won the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship. Photo: Peter Whitten

“We also have the car Brendan Reeves drove in 2017, which will be up for sale or for lease, as well as another new build Mazda underway.”

The news of Hawkeswood’s increased program is further proof of the New Zealand Rally Championship’s growth in recent years.

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Hayden Paddon is expected to contest more NZRC events this year, while others, including Matt Summerfield and Ben Hunt, are set to announce their 2018 plans in the coming days.

Ben Hunt, Andrew Hawkeswood, Matt Summerfield

Friends and rivals: Ben Hunt, Andrew Hawkeswood and Matt Summerfield. Photo: Geoff Ridder

Related news:

New Classic 4WD class for 2018 Otago Rally

Two rally championships, two countries in 2018 for Dalton

 

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.

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