Wednesday, Sep 11 10:28am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Andrew Hawkeswood gets boost for Asia-Pacific Rally Championship final

Governing body MotorSport New Zealand have put their weight behind Andrew Hawkeswood in his bid for the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

A unique format for 2019 sees competitors qualify for a winner-takes-all final at Rally China over 26–27 October.

Competitors could either compete in the Asia Cup or Pacific Cup, both of which were four-round calendars to qualify for the final.

Hawkeswood, a former New Zealand Rally Championship title winner, will take on the challenge of the APRC title in his AP4 specification Mazda 2.

MotorSport New Zealand are throwing their weight behind the bid too with $5,000 towards the campaign.

Hawkeswood will contest Rally China, based in Longyou, 400km south-west of Shanghai, with his Mazda 2 AP4 he used to finish fifth at Rally Otago earlier this year.
"It’s the first time I’ve actually competed in China, but I’ve travelled over for rallies there since 1998 helping other competitors, either running one of my cars or their own," Hawkeswood said.
"It’s also going to be my last major rally. I’m just too busy with other projects and while I might do a few club rallysprints and the like, I’m stepping down from major competition.
"My son Jack, who’s 18, also qualified for the final in China, so we were already taking Jack’s car. The freight costs weren’t significantly higher to take two cars, rather than one, so the MotorSport New Zealand grant helped me make the decision to go. 

"I also want to support the Asia Pacific Rally Championship so to have two New Zealanders there will be important."

Hawkeswood heads to China with the ambition of winning the title. He said it'll be a rally of attrition.
"The roads are part concrete, part gravel where you have to watch the edges which can have sharp drop-offs that could rip a wheel off.

"And with this year’s regulations meaning that the championship itself comes down to just this one event, if I can get to the end, who knows, I might be the champion… or Jack might become the youngest champion!"