Hawkeswood looks for more pace at Canterbury


The Mazda 2 made a spectacular debut at Rally Otago, Hawkeswood is looking to up the pace at Canterbury. Photo: Euan Cameron

Auckland rally driver Andrew Hawkeswood is looking for more speed out of his Mazda 2 Maxi car at the next round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ, the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, this coming weekend.

Hawkeswood debuted the car in the NZRC at the previous round, Rally Otago, earlier in the month and only time penalties for a late check in kept the new car off the podium on debut. This was despite a consistent misfire as well as a couple of punctures and several spins, but Hawkeswood is still looking for more performance.

The event uses a mix of new and previously used roads, something that should help Hawkeswood who has not competed previously, although the fast nature of the roads are likely to suit Hawkeswood and his no-holds barred style.

While the team have been hard at work trying to trace the misfire that dogged the performance at Otago, changes inside the cockpit sees Mark Tapper team up as co-driver for the event, with regular co-driver Rob Ryan unavailable for the event.

“While the result at Otago showed plenty of potential for the new Mazda, it certainly wasn’t the result that we wanted,” says Hawkeswood. “The boys have put in plenty of hours on it since then so hopefully when we get down there, we’ll be on the pace.”

The Lone Star Rally Canterbury kicks off with a ceremonial start at The Palms Mall in Christchruch from 4.45pm on Saturday before heading north to the Okuku Forest to contest two night stages. The following morning, crews leave the overnight Parc Ferme in Rangiora to contest four public road stages as far north as Cheviot, followed by a return to the two stages in Okuku Forest run in reverse direction, before returning to The Palms for the finish.

Press Release: BB Media


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The New Zealand Rally Championship is this country’s premier nationwide rally championship. It attracts New Zealand’s best drivers to compete in numerous categories for the prestigious MotorSport New Zealand-sanctioned rally championship titles. In 2024, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Invercargill