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The FIA World Motor Sport Council has released nine contracted rounds to host the World Rally Championship in 2021. It includes Australia, but not New Zealand. The highly anticipated decisions from the council meeting released overnight, confirm that the first nine events are ready for inclusion alongside a number of cost-saving measures to be implemented. Rally Australia has been included on the calendar, but will have a new location, but with the same organising team. As reported by RallySport Magazine last week, the New South Wales town of Bathurst is firming as the strong favourite to be the host city. "While the calendar for the 2020 season is being revised as a result of COVID-19, a proposal for the 2021 calendar has been approved, with the first nine events ready for inclusion, six of which were ratified by the Council in 2019," the FIA statement said. While dates and the remaining events are to be confirmed, it will leave rally fans 'down under' intrigued. New Zealand was set to host the WRC for the first time since 2012 this year, but with virus impacts, its 2021 return is not guaranteed. With Australia already locked in, it leaves New Zealand on the outer. The back-to-back combo could work, but the WRC Promoter has shied away from this in the recent past. Also included in the contracted events are Monte Carlo, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Kenya, Spain, Italy and Japan. https://rallysportmag.com/exclusive-rally-australia-working-hard-towards-wrc-return/    
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