Patterson to be Solberg's co-driver

Petter Solberg has selected former Production Car World Rally Champion co-driver Chris Patterson as his new co-driver

Patterson to be Solberg's co-driver

The Northern Irishman replaces Phil Mills, Solberg's long-time co-driver, who stepped down from the role after 152 WRC starts, 13 wins and one title alongside the Norwegian earlier this month.

Patterson has not competed with Solberg before, but he was selected from a short-list of three at a test in France yesterday.

Solberg and Patterson will start their career together on next week's Rally Bulgaria. Prior to the WRC's first asphalt event of the season, the two will test the Petter Solberg World Rally Team Citroen C4 WRC for two days in Bulgaria this weekend.

Patterson is well known on the WRC scene, having started competing at the highest level in 1993.

While his world title came with Nasser Al-Attiyah in 2006, the 41-year-old has co-driven for a host of household names, including defending IRC champion Kris Meeke, Alister McRae, Niall McShea and Gwyndaf Evans - with whom he is currently contesting the British Rally Championship.

Patterson was also a regular alongside Colin McRae when the Scot was testing during his time in the Ford team.

This will be his Patterson's first front-line job co-driving at the top of the WRC, but Solberg is confident his new man is ready.

"He was right for me," said Solberg. "He's calm and very motivated in the car - now I just want us to find that winning feeling together."

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