NZ rally champ to expand program into the USA
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.”
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 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.
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.