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The Hawkeswood Legacy of the Southern Lights Rally: Father-Son Journey

In the annals of New Zealand rallying history, the Hawkeswood name emerges as the last winner of the Southland Rally. In 2004, Andrew Hawkeswood and his co-driver Jeff Hill stood atop the podium, while his son, Jack Hawkeswood, had just completed his first lap around the sun.

 

Fast forward two decades, and Jack is poised to follow in his father's tyre tracks. Now a seasoned driver in his own right, Jack, along with co-driver Jason Farmer, clinched victory at the Central Machine Hire Otago Rally in April, putting the spotlight on the team. Their early lead in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship is evidence that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree of genetics that won the 2017 title.

 

The Transport World Southern Lights Rally, making its grand return after 20 years, promises to be a challenge the current generation has never experienced before.

 

Jack Hawkeswood says the stories count as valuable insight as to what lays ahead.

 

“Yes I’ve got a few questions for dad on some of those stages but to be honest it’s going to be a pretty level playing field as none of us have driven these roads before. You’ve got to expect that conditions will be somewhat unpredictable even as we really don’t know what it’s going to be like until the weather shows its hand on the day,” said Hawkeswood junior.

 

“What I am looking forward to is the night stage – it will shock a few but it’s something I’ll be okay with and that’s possibly from mum telling me to eat my carrots.

 

“Definitely it is going to be exciting and I know we will have our work cut out for us. Really I’m looking at the bigger picture so have to keep this event into perspective.”

 

Starting from 4pm on Friday, 21 June, from the iconic Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, will be an under-cover launch for the teams as they head for the first special stage. Departing from 5pm, they head into the dark, tackling the 11.35km Pebbly Hills after 5:35pm – for a taste of what Andrew Hawkeswood’s generation grew up on.

 

The rally continues early Saturday morning with most of the 45.90km Benmore stage to be run in dark. Following two service stops in Winton the rally heads across to Tuatapere before heading to the Teretonga race circuit. The final stage is a combination of gravel and tarmac before the teams arrive for the ceremonial finish at the circuit from 5pm.

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