The World Rally Championship is considering two-day rallies to increase the number of events in the championship and expand beyond the dominance of Europe.

Chile and Japan are pushing for inclusion on the 2019 calendar. New Zealand failed in a bid to join this year.

Promoter Oliver Ciesla has indicated reducing the length of rallies is a way to add more events to the calendar.

"We do not exclude shortening the rallies, but I see it in the bigger strategic context with 14, 15 or 16 rallies," he told


"If we are talking about [shortening] one or two rallies, it wouldn't make much difference, but if we shorten them all then this can save 15 or 16 times one day - that's more than two weeks in a hotel.

"Then we are talking," he added.

Some existing events have already indicated they would like to move to the two-day format.

Meanwhile, Chile is reportedly close to securing a spot on the 2019 WRC calendar as the sport looks to expand from 13 events.

The country will run a candidate event before this year's Rally Argentina around the city of Concepción but Ciesla has given an indication the South American event looks likely.

"We are very close to an agreement," he said.

"This would be a forest-based rally with really nice, smooth roads, with stages going from sea level up to 2000 metres into the mountains.

"From what we have seen, Chile would by no means be behind where some of the events are right now."


Japan is also thought to be pushing for future inclusion, which would hurt New Zealand's chances of getting back on the calendar given the size of the Japanese car market and Japanese manufacturer Toyota's involvement in the series.

The global car giant wants to see a WRC event return before the 2020 Olympics in the country.

It would also provide a second event in the highly-populated Asia-Pacific region.

A strong bid for a 2018 Rally New Zealand based out of Tauranga was put forward last year but it was ultimately over-looked as the promoter opted to bring a Turkish event in to replace Rally Poland. The move was a clear sign that heritage and quality were not the primary measures for places on the calendar and that money was paramount.

Rally New Zealand organisers are pushing ahead with work on getting a place on the 2019 calendar but their best chance in the future might be at the expense of Rally Australia, which has received criticism from rally bosses.

The 2018 season gets under way later this month with the traditional season-opening Rally Monte Carlo.