Chris Patterson is the co-diver to Gwyndaf Evans in the GSE Motorsport MG ZR that is taking on the challenge of the Junior World Rally Championship. We asked Chris to explain some of the aspects of his role in the car, and the Ulsterman talks us through the build up to a typical JWRC round - and gives his thoughts on working with Gwyndaf and competing in the MG ZR...

Chris Patterson: "My duties really start on the Sunday before each rally, when we travel out to be ready for the recce - though obviously there are three or four weeks of planning before we've got even that far!

"We start the recce on the Monday, and we're allowed to drive through each stage twice, at a maximum of 50mph, and there is a GPS system the organisers use to check that you have only been on each stage twice. We have a specific recce car, which is a road car with some more safety equipment such as roll-cage, full competition seat belts and a sump-guard,

"On our first run through a stage Gwyndaf makes a decision about every corner and stretch of road, and I write it all down in shorthand. On the second run I read back the notes we have made and we change anything Gwyndaf feels could be different - usually either slowing down or speeding up a particular corner.

"That takes up the first part of the week, and on the Wednesday you have the shakedown. This is done on a designated stage - not usually part of the rally - fairly close to the rally HQ so that press and other guests can get to it easily. It's a chance to check out the rally car and make sure everything is working. There are usually some guests around and it's a nice chance to talk to people before the real pressure starts and show them the car in action.

"Thursday is usually supposed to be a day off, but it never seems to work like that. The day is usually filled with media work and its actually an opportunity to talk to people before the rally actually starts, once the pressure is on its hard to find the time to properly talk to anyone.

"My role through the rally is also about making sure that Gwyndaf is in the right place at the right time. The rally starts on the Thursday night, sometimes with a ceremonial start like in Monte Carlo, or sometimes with a super-special stage. After that it's early to bed before the real action begins.

"From Friday it's all systems go! My job is to get to the controls points at the right time, and call the notes on the stages. You do what you can and work hard for a good result.

"There has to be a lot of trust between us in the car, and that takes time to build. Gwyndaf has to trust me to call the pace notes properly, and I have to trust him to drive the car. When we are on a stage 100% of my concentration is on what is happening inside the car, anything else is asking for trouble - there can be no outside distractions.

"Gwyndaf and I are a fairly new pairing, and it took us time to get to know each other. I always knew that Gwyndaf was one of the best drivers around, but he had to get to know me and trust me. We even drove round near his house with me calling notes just to get used to being with each other.

"I'm looking forward to every one of the remaining rallies. I've even competed in Germany before, so we should know a little more about that one than some of our rivals! The Acropolis will be a challenge. That is a monster of a rally - and you'll have done a superb job just to finish.

"The Network Q Rally of Great Britain is obviously our home rally, and we'd love to put on a bit of a show there, and with it being in Wales that is right up Gwyndaf's street! That's at the end of the season - I'm looking forward to the whole year.

"It's great for the pair of us to be involved with bringing the MG name back to rallying. The company is one of the old established names in motoring, and I'd been an MG fan for years, so it's very exciting to be involved."