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Key Rally New Zealand figures remain hopeful that the rally could form part of the 2021 World Rally Championship, and possibly run back-to-back with Rally Australia. Speaking on Radio New Zealand, the country's leading rally driver, Hayden Paddon, said that there was still hope the event could make the calendar next year, despite being left off the initial list of nine rallies. "There is all sorts of things that could happen and I think it is too early to say New Zealand is or isn't on the calendar," Paddon said. "The train of thought from the New Zealand perspective was what we had this year lined up could pretty much be pushed out a year, the event was ready, the roads were ready, the organisation was ready, it was just a matter of a delay in the process. "Meanwhile, Australia don't really have a rally at the moment, they know they can't go back to Coffs Harbour where they have been in the past, so they've got to go out and start a rally from scratch again, so I thought New Zealand was ahead in that respect. What else is going on behind the scenes who knows." Paddon believes that border controls in place because of Coronavirus could lead to more international rally events in this part of the world.
"There is an off chance with the way quarantine is working around the world, and maybe it might be a long-term thing, that a New Zealand and Australian back-to-back rally could work with quarantine rules," he added.
Meanwhile, Rally New Zealand CEO, Michael Goldstein, told RallySport Magazine that being included in next year's WRC would be "hard". “The manufacturers want less events and there’s a lot of prestigious rallies that haven’t been given the green light,” Goldstein said. “The maths would seem to be pretty straightforward. “We expected that the event would attract huge spectator numbers, which was going to be our point of difference from Coffs Harbour. “If Rally New Zealand doesn’t get a WRC round in 2021, then there’ll be a huge moral obligation to include the event in 2022,” he added. Rally New Zealand has done everything that has been asked of it by the WRC, providing a route very close to Auckland, a stadium super special stage within 10km of the city, and a Power Stage location 20km from the city. Goldstein has also been reported as saying that having New Zealand host a round of the WRC every "four years might be our bag". Rally Australia has still not announced a venue for the 2021 rally, although Bathurst is believed to be the front-runner, should the event remain in New South Wales.

Related news:

https://rallysportmag.com/comment-trans-tasman-tension-as-aussies-grab-2021-wrc-slot/
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