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Co-driver Patterson earns World Rally return after agreeing to assist up-and-coming star Greensmith


Chris Patterson

Chris Patterson

Chris Patterson

Ballyclare co-driver Chris Patterson will return to the World Rally Championship, starting with the next round in Croatia next month.

Patterson, who has long experience of the series alongside many top drivers - including former world champion Petter Solberg, Kris Meeke and Khalid al Qassimi - has been called in to partner young Ford star Gus Greensmith in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC.

He replaces regular co-driver Elliott Edmondson in an effort to bring more experience to the partnership. Although he has finished in the top-10 in each of the first two rounds this year, Greensmith has struggled to get up to speed in the early stages of both rallies, leaving himself too much ground to make up.

Patterson, who has taken part in more than 100 WRC rounds, now joins Craig Breen and Paul Nagle in the new Croatian event, which takes place on April 23-25.

Double Circuit of Ireland winner Breen has been confirmed at Hyundai despite crashing during an appearance in the Rally il Ciocco - a round of the Italian championship - two weeks ago. Breen will drive the third of the i20 WRC Hyundais alongside Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville.

Hyundai boss Andrea Adamo said the incident wouldn't "affected Craig's future presences at WRC rounds", and that has proved to be the case.

An extra round has, meanwhile, been added to the recently announced British Championship calendar.

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It will take place within the confines of the Oulton Park race circuit in Cheshire on May 31, the Spring Bank Holiday.

The series will now consist of seven rounds, finishing with the Ulster Rally, which has moved from August to November.

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