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SamBihamPR14_10Bingley rally ace Sam Bilham will contest the Woodbridge Stages next weekend as he takes the long trip to Suffolk in a bid to take the lead of the 2014 Formula 1000 senior tarmac championship in his Next Big Step Nissan Micra.  The East Anglian Military base will play host to round six of the series in which the youngster holds a solid third position and will head to the South East coast in an attempt to repeat his category win in Scotland last month.

The 17 year old from West Yorkshire has mostly concentrated on the BTRDA National Rally Series this year which has seen the rapid Micra pilot gain a host of accolades in his first year of gravel rallying.  Securing the RallyFirst one litre category at last month’s Woodpecker stages is quite an achievement with two rounds remaining, but Bilham is not intent on stopping there. There is still a Junior and Rally First overall award up for grabs and he is keen to finish the year on a high. So with the chance of becoming a champion in the Formula 1000 series as well, he simply cannot let the opportunity go.

“I’ve really enjoyed contesting the BTRDA series in the forests this year and to win the RF1.0 title was a great achievement for me” says Bilham.  “We have had one eye on the Formula1000 tarmac series all year and I’ve won both the rounds I`ve contested so it would be silly not to at least try and secure another title this year. Although I’m still only 17, I am considered a ‘senior’ in this championship now. It’s where I started my career and it’s great to be supporting them and offering advice where I can”.

Returning to the co-driver’s seat is the experienced Gareth Hooper who accompanied Bilham during the 2013 Junior season.  The duo achieved a podium position on this event last year and with the venue offering a mix of wide open airfield runways and tyre degrading concreate link sections, they will undoubtedly be thankful of their experience on the event last year. “A win here should take us somewhere near the top of the championship tables so it’s going to be important that we set the right pace from the very first stage” he explains.  “The venue is a real mixed bag of surfaces so unless it is wet, we will have to watch the tyre wear even in the rather underpowered one litre Micra.  I’m looking forward to getting back on the asphalt again and I don’t mind a bit of pressure on me, it helps with the concentration”.

The 21st September event offers 60 miles of competitive action on the Military base and has over 70 entries for the event. Bilham will start the event as number 42 seed.

Sam is supported by The Next Big Step award.

For more information on Sam and his rallying career, visit http://www.sambilham.co.uk

Image courtesy of MCR Marketing Solutions

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