Singh, Hawkeswood dominate Rotorua Rally

Malaysia’s Karamjit Singh and Auckland’s Andrew Hawkeswood dominate their classes after the opening day of the Rally of Rotorua today.

Singh (Proton Pert), the former world production car champion, is more than two minutes clear of his nearest rival going into the final day of the third round of the FIA Asia Pacific rally championship after seven special stages of the Hella Battery Town-sponsored event in a chilly eastern Bay of Plenty.

Hawkeswood (Mitsubishi) carries a one minute advantage over his nearest rival in the third round of the Parker Enzed New Zealand Rally Championship. The Aucklander in his more powerful Group A Evo 6 was the fastest car today, two seconds ahead of the Group N Proton Pert of Singh, with both drivers well clear of the rest of the field.

Singh, who had a narrow lead going into the third round of the Asia Pacific Championship, will be able to cruise tomorrow with a 2min 18sec advantage over defending champion Armin Kremer (Norway).

“We are winning the APRC and I am happy with the situation. We had some little brake problems that caused it to lock up too easily in the front. We are looking ready for tomorrow,” Singh said.

“The roads were fantastic and the car is going well. My aim here is to be the first APRC car home. We have a good lead and I need to win here. I must win here.”

It was not such good news for Kiwi hopeful Geoff Argyle (Palmerston North), who came into the event in confident manner after his win at New Caledonia