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Rising junior rally star Sam Bilham will step outside of his regular BTRDA Rally championship season plans this weekend as he heads to Scotland to contest the Solway Coast Rally. Based on the Military Ranges in Dundrennan, near Kirkcudbright, Bilham will be returning to asphalt for the first time in 2014 in a bid to re-ignite his chances of a Formula1000 Rally championship podium in the Seniors category.

Just a few weeks after yet another confidence building class win on the national BTRDA gravel rally series qualifier the Nicky Grist Stages, Bilham turns his attentions to a sealed surface event, using his 2013 Junior championship Nissan Micra. The 17 year old from Bingley in West Yorkshire will be once again accompanied by regular co driver Graham Wild who will guide Bilham across the notoriously tricky tracks which wind their way across the moorland.  Having spent much of the year learning how to drive on gravel, Bilham will undoubtedly need to call on all his past experience of the Junior Rally Championship if he is to secure a solid result on his first time on the event.

“It will certainly take a while to get used to driving competitively on asphalt again” says Bilham.  “I’m still learning how to harness my gravel technique so I need to be careful on the first few stages and try to adapt to the braking distances and grip levels.  But I think once we have a few stage miles under our belt, we can push on a little harder and see what our pace is like against the others in our class. I’m really looking forward to it and it’s great to use my asphalt car again, I have fond memories of that car!”

Bilham will also be representing The Next Big Step award scheme at the event. Founder Ian Arden will be launching his plans for 2015 to all the Junior Rally contenders and thought it fitting that a previous winner of the prize could be in attendance on the day.  “Sam has done a great job in the BTRDA rally series this year and is really showing his potential” says Arden.  “This is exactly the reason why he won in 2013 and it’s great to see him back on asphalt with the Junior competitors. It will show them just what is possible with hard work and dedication throughout their motorsport career.  Sam is a great ambassador for the Juniors and The Next Big Step and we are looking forward to seeing how he goes on his first time across the ranges”.

Sam is supported by The Next Big Step award.
For more information on Sam and his rallying career, visit http://www.sambilham.co.uk

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