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A fourth successive win in the BTRDA Rally Series – DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy this weekend brings the hotly contested single make championship title within the grasp of Bingley rally star Sam Bilham.

With victory at the DMACK Carlisle Stages on Saturday (10th June), the 2300 Club John Easson Award winner and co-driver Cameron Fair are just one podium result away from taking the Fiesta honours, despite three rounds of the series yet to run.

In his second season behind the wheel of the Fiesta ST, Bilham led the championship for much of last year, only losing out on the closing events of the championship to take runner up spot in the series. But this time around he has been on top on all four rounds so far, meaning he heads to next month’s Nicky Grist Stages as firm favourite for the win.

Based in Kershope and East Kielder forests, The Carlisle Stages runs across notorious stages in the Scottish Borders and is renowned for catching out even the most experienced of drivers. But Bilham endured an eventful lead up to the weekend which threatened his title assault.

A delay in parts for the transmission forced Bilham to work through the week to ensure the Calvert Construction and Reis Motorsport Insurance backed Fiesta would be ready for the event and he would start the rally with a plan to nett a solid points haul.

Look at the time sheets however and they tell a different story. Despite pre-event aspirations on perhaps a podium spot, he commanded a start to finish victory in the treacherous conditions. Taking the lead from the opening stage, he brought the Fiesta home with fastest time on every one of the five stages, making it back in 19th overall.

“It’s been a pretty nervous week if I`m honest and to come away with five fastest times and win number four is a very pleasant surprise” said Bilham.

“We came here for points and thought we would have to just play it safe but after stage one everything felt really good and we just kept that pace throughout the event. It seems to have worked and I`m really pleased to be heading to the Nicky Grist with the chance of clinching the title. It’s been a dream season so far and we just have to keep that momentum up on the next one.”

Bilham’s victory also means he holds first in the BTRDA Class N3 as well as third in the Production Cup and Silver Star categories.

The Nicky Grist Stages takes place at the end of July, forms round five of the BTRDA Rally Series and is based in Builth Wells in Wales.

Sam is supported by 2300 Club John Easson Award, Calvert Construction, Reis Motorsport Insurance, The Garage at Stanley Mills, Northern Life Magazine and Gareth Hooper Motorsport Services.

Image courtesy of Paul Mitchell Photography

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