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‘So, hello! My name is Katie and I run Motorsport Italia’s communications. Well, this is novel – being on the other side of the press release lens! After exposing everyone else, it’s now my turn to try and bring Motorsport Italia to life for you.

‘The task is simple – all I need to do is prove that our work is fascinating (and motivating, yes motivating is a good word), the people are unfailingly charming and we have an existence that dreams are made of. No problem, let’s get started right away.

‘On event I work up to 20 hours a day, potentially in -30 degrees, torrential rain or up to my knees (slight exaggeration there) in mud. We all bicker chronically and constantly about the best plan of attack and we rarely manage to squeeze in a holiday or even time off at the weekend! BUT (and that’s a very big BUT – note the capitals), I love it. ☺

‘It’s been an ‘interesting’ period for the team between Rallye de France and Rally d’Italia. Firstly, we only had one week to prepare gravel spec cars for Chris and Paulo. That’ s a challenge in itself; switching the anti-roll bars, brake system, dampers, springs, upright pins, rims, air duct and diff settings (yes, somebody with far more technical expertise than me did supply that list! ;-))

‘But as you probably know, we’ve also had some big news: MINI will cease its works involvement in the WRC from 2013. We’ve all enjoyed working with MINI, so it’s a real shame, but I can confirm that we have three clear objectives for the rest of 2012:

Fulfill our obligation to MINI. At the start of the season, we were charged with the responsibility of homologating the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman WRC and homologate it we will. This will give all our MINI family members the chance to compete with the car on a customer rallying basis. Our integrity as a team is important to us and we always see our promises through so… Let’s go Atko! Get your MINI into gear and let’s show everyone what you (and we) are made of!

Support our sister team Ralliart Italia. We really hope to see Benny Guerra or Michal Kościuszko scoop the PWRC world title either here or in Spain. They’re currently first and second in the Championship standings, so… we’re right behind you, boys!

Confirm a project for next season. Everyone’s seen the team grow throughout this season and we believe we have a strong future in motorsport (and are utterly addicted! ;-)), so… watch this space!

‘That brings me to my latest challenge: Rally Italia Sardegna, Motorsport Italia’s home event and my first time in Sardinia. Not knowing anything about the event from past experience, you’ll be learning at the same time as me! Stéphane’s back on board the MINI next to Atko, our 01B’s on its gravel début, Paulo and Edu are ready to raise the roof and adrenalin is pumping.

‘One of the great things about our crews is that they’re totally integrated in the team. Paulo can put a smile on anyone’s face even after the most grueling of days and ‘arrive and drive’ is Chris’ idea of a nightmare – he’s on top of everything, giving detailed development feedback, getting involved in technical discussions and masterfully tackling any PR activities thrown at him (however crazy!)

‘And that’s what makes the team. Everyone’s pushed to the limit with an unbelievable number of tasks to handle, but nobody wants to let the operation down. A big advantage of having a tight team is that decisions are made quickly and acted upon even quicker!

‘Everyone knows that I could write (and talk) forever so I’ll give you a little respite now before we kick off on Thursday.

‘Until then,

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