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Rally NZ considers Auckland return

Rally New Zealand, 2002Rally New Zealand's return to the World Rally Championship in 2010 is likely to include a shift back to Auckland for the North Island event.

Rally NZ was not included in this year's full World Rally Championship for the first time since 1996 and for only the second time in the history of the WRC. But a source close to the organisers of the event is confident the event has moved forward during its rotation-enforced year away from the championship.

"Nothing is decided yet for the base of the event, but Auckland is looking more likely," said the source. "There have been a couple of date changes and some of the venues which had been considered in Auckland might not be available, it's the same with Mystery Creek. We have to wait and see, but a decision is close."

A move back to Auckland would allow the rally to return to some of the favoured stages north of the city.

"There's a lot of enthusiasm for the stages in the north and it would be great to see them back on the route," said the source. "One thing is sure, not running this year has really focused the organisers and made them even more determined to put on a fantastic show next year."

Rally New Zealand will run as the fifth round of the WRC from May 6-9 next season.

While the WRC promoters are keen to avoid running any kind of rotation in the calendar, New Zealand and Australia are heavily tipped to become bi-annual events - particularly with Australia's shift from the west to east coast. The two also share Repco as a common sponsor.

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