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Sam_Bilham_PR4_15Bingley rally ace Sam Bilham will head to this weekend’s Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally as he aims to rack up as much competitive mileage as possible, ahead of his inaugural World Rally Championship outing in November at Wales Rally GB. He will use the familiar Next Big Step backed Nissan Micra which he has been campaigning all year on the Ludlow based event which forms round seven of the REIS-Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series.

The MSA RSF Young Driver of the Year has had a season of mixed fortunes in the nine round national gravel series and with sporadic outings due to budget constraints, the 18 year old West Yorkshire man will now concentrate his efforts on the biggest challenge of his career at the end of the year. But, keen to ensure he is ready for the task ahead, Bilham has kept the entry for the 43 mile Shropshire forestry event and will use the event to get as much seat time as possible on the run up to the event.

“Wales Rally GB will of course be very different to this weekend’s Woodpecker Stages not only in terms of the event, but the car as well” he explains.  “Thanks to backing of engineering firm Allfab EMS Ltd, we will contest Rally GB in a Fiesta ST which is really a million miles away from my Rally First Micra which we will be using on Saturday.  But the more time I get behind the wheel the better so we have kept the entry for the event.”

Bilham will be joined by regular co-driver Graham Wild and is looking forward to the event which saw him the Rally First title last year.  “It will be quite nice to contest the event without the pressure of a championship to win or points to gain. Of course, I won’t be there just to make up the numbers but I`ll be able to concentrate more on my driving style and adaptability rather than outright speed which will be essential for Rally GB”.

The Eventsigns Woodpecker Stages Rally takes place on Saturday 5th September and is based at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire. The capacity 180 car field will tackle 43 stage miles in both England and Wales with the leading crews returning to Ludlow late on Saturday afternoon.

For more information on Sam and his rallying career, visit

Image courtesy of Jemma Watson.

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