With now just weeks remaining until the action-packed World Rally Championship (WRC) returns to North Wales in early October, these are very busy – and critical – times for Steve Cridge.

The 36-year-old from Old Colwyn is the man responsible for turning an empty 30-acre building site, located alongside Toyota Manufacturing’s busy Engine Plant in Deeside, into a buzzing Rally Village.

The site will soon be ready to welcome all the top WRC teams and more than 20,000 visitors during the four-day event, October 4-7.

In motor sport terms, the free-to-enter Rally Village acts as the pits and paddock for all the 160 competing crews – it’s here that the cars are prepared for racing through the legendary Welsh forests and where they are serviced between the frenetic speed tests.

It’s also home to Dayinsure Wales Rally GB’s command centre, a fun fair, numerous catering facilities, several merchandise outlets plus a big screen for fans to follow the dramatic competition.

It also boasts an interactive Big Bang exhibition, which attracts hundreds of students studying STEM subjects at local schools.

Fitting everything in is a massive jigsaw puzzle and one which Steve not only solves every year, but for which he is widely praised.

"To be honest we start planning ahead the minute the previous year’s event ends. but the real ‘sleeves up’ work starts now," admits Steve, who is loaned to the rally by his everyday employers at Conwy council as part of the their contribution as the official host county.

"Together with my able deputy, Ken Prenter, I then move onto the site mid-September – that's when we start erecting around four kilometres of security fencing and installing nearly a mile of pipework for water and drains," he added.

"We get great help from local suppliers. Hannaman provides us with fork lift trucks, telehandlers and other such powered equipment needed to move stuff around the site. Brenig Construction helps us to get all the infrastructure in place ready for the arrival of the World Championship teams and, I should also mention the guys from CSM Security who are always willing to help wherever needed."

Everything has to be fully operational by the time the gates open to the public on Thursday morning, October 4, but even then the challenges don't end.

"With so many people both working in the Service Park and visiting the Rally Village – and with no permanent drains – we have lots of waste from kitchens, toilets and other facilities such as the car washes to dispose of. All of it is pumped away into trucks to ensure there's absolutely no pollution," explains Steve. He then switches his attentions to something he can't control: the weather.

He admits: "That’s always going to be the biggest concern. With lots of temporary structures, the wind is always a worry – we had a big storm on the Saturday night back in 2015 and there was some resultant damage. Rain isn't quite such an issue but there's a danger that a sudden downpour could cause flooding, and so we are always prepared with pumps and extra hard-core to deal with any large puddles that may form."

Steve is hopeful however that the weather gods will look kindly on this year' rally - and with good reason. "The date has come forward by three weeks to the start of October which should help and, currently, the long-term forecast is looking promising," he grins.

Whether or not the sun shines, you can bet Steve will keep a smile on his face. He said: "I'm hugely proud to be performing what's a small part in such a hugely successful event.

"I’ve been a motor sport fan all my life, so it's very special to be involved in bringing the World Championship to North Wales."

This year's spectacular action blasts off under the floodlights at the Tir Prince Raceway on Thursday evening, and finishes on Sunday morning with a dramatic finale staged on the closed streets of Llandudno. It promises to be quite a show.

To find out more, visit the official walesrallygb.com website.