Kennards Hire Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast last year proved the best ever episode of the Australian rally.
Kennards Hire Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast last year proved the best ever episode of the Australian rally. Brad Greenshields

Up to speed on Rally Australia running in 2019

RALLY Australia's bid to retain its place on the World Rally Championship calendar next year should be known next month.

Speaking to leading rally website speedcafe.com, Rally Australia chairman Ben Rainsford this week said discussion for next year's WRC calendar are underway.

It's been speculated the 2019 schedule will expand from 13 to 14 rallies next year with Japan and Chile, regarded as likely candidates.

"We will know most likely during the month of August," Rainsford told Speedcafe.com.

Kennards hire Rally Australia super special stage at the Harbour. ETS racing fuels, Simon Evans and Ben Searcy.. 20 NOV 2016
Rally Australia's super special stage returns to the Jetty Foreshores in November. Trevor Veale

"I'm not sure it will be the last round again as there is a fair bit of pressure to return to Europe," he said.

NSW Government tourism body Destination NSW has committed funding to Rally Australia until 2020.

After winning a three-year calendar deal in 2014, Rally Australia secured a one year contract from the WRC Promoter to host this year's final round from November 15-18.

"We would be happy if we wrapped another a three-year deal but at this stage they're (WRC) not keen on doing three-year deals, although I expect that for Kenya (which is set to return to the calendar from 2020)," Rainsford said.

Feel the thrill of the WRC at Kennards Hire Rally Australia. November 15 - 18 on the Coffs Coast.
Rally Australia is pressing for a longer term deal on the WRC calendar. Jeremy Rogers

Rainsford is adamant the event will remain on the Coffs Coast, but revealed a Sydney stage is being investigated for 2019.

"We have scoped out a couple of sites in Sydney to run a day," he said.

"There is some potential there but it won't happen for this year."