Atkinson, a podium finisher with the now defunct Subaru World Rally Team, last competed in the WRC aboard a privateer Citroen C4 in Ireland back in January 2009.
Since then he has been a regular in the Asia Pacific championship, where he was a winner in Malaysia earlier this season at the wheel of a Proton Satria Neo Super 2000.
He is holding talks with Citroen, Ford and MINI about a drive on the Coffs Harbour-based event from 8-11 September as he looks to increase his tally of 67 world starts.
“I’m determined to get back to the World Rally Championship and this is a step towards that goal,” the 31-year-old told Autosport magazine in the UK. “It’s not decided yet what car I’ll drive [but] it’s fair to say all of the cars look pretty exciting. Right now, I’m focused on getting everything in place, the car I’m driving is integral to that, but it’s about getting the funding right.”
Atkinson managed five podiums during his stint in the WRC with second-place finishes in Mexico and Argentina for Subaru in 2008 the highlights. Despite his lack of recent running in the world championship, Atkinson is hopeful his experience of driving Super 2000 machinery - which possess similar handling characteristics to World Rally Cars - plus the fact that this year’s Rally Australia is using an all-new route, will prevent him from being an also ran on the gravel round.
“It [will be] a level playing field, but don’t forget those guys are out in their cars every three weeks - I haven’t driven one yet,” said Atkinson. “The bigger picture is about getting back to the WRC and competing on my home round is a must.”
Atkinson’s hopes received a boost when MINI WRC Team principal David Richards admitted he would be keen on having the Australian in one of his cars if the Prodrive-run squad added a seventh event to its existing schedule.
“I’ve spoken to Chris about it and I’d welcome him back, if there’s a budget to do it,” Richards told Autosport.