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SamBilham_PR14_12The pressure of competing on his home event was not enough to curtail 17 year old Sam Bilham’s winning streak as he yet again secured the Rally First one-litre class on last weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire.  Having won the class on all but one event in this year’s BTRDA National Rally series, the Bingley rally star had wrapped up the championship on the last event in Shropshire. But the lure of competing on home ground and the opportunity to secure another wrath of points for his Junior title aspirations was awarded with another points haul in the Dalby Forests.

Having spectated on the event as a youngster, Rally Yorkshire would be the event that The Next Big Step award winner would look forward to the most this year, but Bilham had a new co-driver for the event in the shape of Dad, Tony.  With regular co-driver Graham Wild unavailable for the event, Tony stepped in to ensure Sam could compete at ‘home’ and guided the pairing to another solid result.  “It was great to have Dad next to me on my local rally and he did really well” commented Sam.  “It’s been a while since he co-drove competitively but that didn’t show and we gelled together really well from the very first stage.”

Tony is usually found helping Sam behind the scenes and helping to look after the Rally First Nissan Micra in between events, but ‘Bilham Junior’ was more than happy to allow his Dad into the passenger seat for the event. “Dad knows the stages on this rally like the back of his hand as he has helped organise events in Dalby for many years to it was good to get his experience in the car” said Sam. “We had a trouble-free day and I really enjoyed the event and it felt really special competing in front of my home crowd.  I think Dad was quietly impressed with my driving on gravel too, considering it’s only my first year in the forest”.

Arguably more important than Bilham’s impressive Yorkshire result, will be the positions at the end of the Cambrian Rally in North Wales at the end of October. With the overall Rally First and Junior titles at stake for the youngster, a decent points haul could see him take a championship podium on the final round of the series in Llandudno.

However his attentions will now turn back to asphalt and the Formula1000 series as he heads to South Wales in two weeks’ time to contest the Peter Lloyd stages in which he has a chance to wrap up yet another title in what has been a busy year for the MSA Academy member.

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

Image courtesy of Jucy Rally Photography.

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