Motorsport: 2020 World Rally Championship round in New Zealand a real possibility

The prestigious World Rally Championship could be heading back to New Zealand after an eight-year absence.

Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon has told Newshub that plans are well advanced for officials here to capitalise on the uncertainty surrounding Rally Australia's host city for next year.

And the mere suggestion is music to the ears of New Zealand's best.

"I know there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes," Paddon told Newshub.
"I think it's looking very promising - it could be here next year as a one-off event." 

The event was lost in 2012, with Australia favoured by the WRC.

But it's understood international officials aren't happy with the Aussie venue at Coffs Harbour and Auckland's drifting in to replace it.

"Despite what's happened to us in the WRC of recent, I'd still love to see a rally here."

With the America's Cup schedule for Auckland in 2021, Rally NZ is unlikely to push for a multi-year deal.

Instead, they're looking to provide an alternative venue, until Australia can find a different location themselves.

"I think New Zealand's in a very strong position, they just have to find a bit of funding," Paddon said.

Newshub understands Rally New Zealand officials need a further NZ$1million to host a round of the WRC next year in 2020.

Sources say, if they can do it, it'll be up to the governing body to give it the green light.

"Even as soon as the next month or two, there'll be a decision made on whether it will be here next year, so it's an exciting time," said Paddon.

The Kiwi flyer hopes to be back in a WRC seat by then too.

Driving in front of his home fans in a fully-fledged WRC round is just the tonic Hayden Paddon needs to make that happen.