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Rally Australia is one of nine events on the 2021 World Rally Championship calendar, but hopes of the rally taking place next year appear to be fading. The rally was cancelled in November last year because of the devastating NSW bushfires, and missed out on a calendar spot to New Zealand in 2020. However, a list of events released by the FIA in June had Rally Australia back in the game – more than likely in Bathurst, rather than at its recent home of Coffs Harbour. But as the WRC got back underway in Estonia last weekend, Rally Australia and Motorsport Australia remained silent, casting further doubts over whether the series will actually return Down Under next year. "From what I'm hearing there will be no long haul flights in the first half of next year," a reputable WRC insider told RallySport Magazine from Europe this week.
"I'm only really hearing talk about Chile, Japan and Kenya, and absolutely nothing about Australia or New Zealand."
That's perhaps not surprising, given recent talk that the WRC may be Euro-centric next year, and with the continued border restrictions in place in both Australia and New Zealand. "It's been very quiet on the home front," a Rally Australia source told us. "There are so many unknowns at the moment, but my gut feeling is that it might be a 10 round championship, with no Australia."

Andreas Mikkelsen jumps his Hyundai at Rally Australia in 2018. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

For their part, Rally New Zealand are ready, willing and able should they be called on for next year. The Kiwi's event should have been held last weekend, had it not been for COVID-19. Event boss PJ Johnston and his team are still in the dark though.
"We've heard absolutely nothing from the WRC Promoter about next year, so everything is on hold," Johnston said.
"We're waiting and ready to go though. All our funding is organised, all our infrastructure is in place, and we have shakedown events planned for November." There are currently three rallies remaining in the 2020 WRC, but the WRC Promoter is still looking to add to that number. That means that any serious plans for 2021 are probably on hold – or at least on the back burner – so it seems we may not be any the wiser for some time yet.
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