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Sam Bilham pre-Somerset162014 MSA RSF Young Driver of the Year Sam Bilham will head to the South West this weekend in a bid to stay on top of the BTRDA Fiesta ST Trophy standings at the third round of the series, the Somerset Stages Rally. After a solid result on the opening two rounds, the Reis Motorsport Insurance backed ace heads both the ST Trophy and the hotly contested BTRDA Production Cup, with co-driver Richard Crozier.

After a sporadic 2015 season the Bingley 19 year old recently upgraded to a Fiesta ST N3, made famous by the M-Sport World Rally team outfit. This decision proved fruitful as a podium result on the Cambrian Rally in February was backed up with a fourth in class on the Malcolm Wilson Rally last month. These confidence boosting results were enough to vault Bilham to the top of the standings in both championships, meaning he heads a pack of chasing Mitsubishi’s.

Bilham will now head to the Minehead based Somerset Stages with a substantial lead in both categories’ and is focused on another strong result. “I’ve got a 100% finishing record on the Somerset so I’d certainly like to keep that” he says.  “To win championships you have to have consistency and it goes to show you don’t have to win events outright to be at the top. I’m still learning the car and I always said I wanted to build my pace as the year progressed so I’m really happy with how we are sitting in both the championships at the moment. A finish in Somerset will be really important to stay there so that’s most certainly the plan; if we can grab a podium in the Fiesta ST Trophy then I’d be really happy”.

The Somerset Stages takes place across the forests of Exmoor but is unique for the BTRDA in that it is one of only two rounds which include stages on asphalt. “I’m actually really looking forward to the Porlock Stage” he says. “The Fiesta is a great car in the woods but it’s really forgiving on a sealed surface so hopefully I can call on my skills from the Junior Championship days to set a decent time on both runs of the hill. That said, the Fiesta ST Trophy regulations limit tyres so we will need to use gravel tyres on both stages which will be a new experience for me. It will be the same for everyone though so it’s still a level playing field”.

The Somerset Stages is based entirely on the seafront in Minehead and takes place on Saturday 16th April, offering 37 miles within 13 stages in the county.

Sam is supported by Reis Motorsport Insurance, Mechanical Solutions, Pertemps Recruitment, The Next Big Step, Gareth Hooper Motorsport Services, Vital Equipment and The Garage at Stanley Mills. For more information on Sam and his rallying career, visit http://www.sambilham.co.uk

Image courtesy of Stanislav Kucera

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