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Bilham in actionFiesta ST Trophy contender Sam Bilham heads to the DMACK Carlisle Stages this weekend in an effort to grab a podium spot and retain lead of the hotly contested single-make formula. Taking a mature approach to the eight round series, the Reis Motorsport Insurance backed pilot has maintained a one hundred per cent finish record so for this season which sees him head to the fifth round with a slender five point lead on his rivals.

The Bingley rally ace had adapted well to the new-for-2016 Fiesta and has returned some confidence boosting results during the first half of the year. Bilham will head to the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series qualifying round in Carlisle event on Saturday (11th June) with his sights set firmly on bettering his opening round third place.

The event takes place in the notorious Kielder forest complex which flanks the Scottish Borders and is renowned for their tricky nature, often willing to swallow up any out of line drivers in their ravenous ditches.  Having never competed in the forest, Bilham and co-driver Richard Crozier will be on the back foot against the other contenders in the series as many crews will have traversed the stages several times before.

But Bilham is confident of making in-roads on a top three position. “We always said that this year would be a learning curve in the car so to see our times coming down event by event is encouraging” he says. “It means we are doing everything right. And, it’s the way I wanted to go this year. I wanted to build the pace gradually so I`m hoping to start knocking on the door of the podium this weekend, despite our relative lack of experience in the forest.”

The 19 year old kicked off his pre-event preparations with the Coventry MotoFest last weekend and used the unique show to shakedown the Fiesta. “The crowds were amazing and to be driving around the Coventry ring road with the signs pointing to the M6 was rather bizarre” he says. “Whilst it wasn’t gravel, it was another opportunity to get some seat time in the car and that’s probably the most important thing about increasing speed. I’m really glad we went and it was a great showcase of our backers to the crowds that flocked to the Festival”.

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

Images courtesy of Stanislav Kucera Photography

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