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British rally driver Sam Bilham

2014 MSA RSF Young Driver of the Year, BTRDA Rally First 1.0, F1000 senior and MSA English Rally Junior Champion. 2016  MSA English Rally Champion, 2300 Club John Easson Award Winner and NEWLY CROWNED *DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy and BTRDA N3 Champion*.

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2300 Club John Easson Award Winner 2016

LATEST NEWS

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By sambilham, Oct 3 2017 08:39AM

Sam Bilham’s return to the Fiesta ST Trophy was scuppered by engine woes, but solid finish secures Junior title.


Bingley rally driver Sam Bilham endured a tough return to the 2017 DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy with engine issues forcing the current champion out of contention for a home win on Trackrod Rally Yorkshire (30th September).


But a fifth-place category finish was enough to add another title to his name, securing the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series Junior Driver Award at the event.


The 2300 Club John Easson Award winner had already wrapped up the hotly contested single make championship title back in July but headed back out for Bilham’s home rally in the Yorkshire forests without the pressures of a title to contend with. Partnered once again by Cameron Fair, the duo were looking forward to a rather more relaxed day in the super-fast Dalby stages.


It’s been a dream season for the Calvert Construction & Reis Motorsport Insurance backed Fiesta pilot, winning every round of the series he has contested so far. With the season drawing to a close, Bilham was eager to end the year on a high before finalising his plans for 2018.


Bilham kicked off the event with a second fastest time on the opening Langdale test, just four seconds adrift of the leading crew. But his hard work would be undone on stage two as the usually reliable Fiesta developed a misfire and he was forced to limp through the following test at a walking pace, losing almost five minutes in the process.


Back in service, the team were able to trace the issue and duly affected a repair to bring the Championship winning Fiesta back to full health. Bilham was then able to make his charge back up the leaderboard. Setting a class fastest time on his way from seventh to fifth; his result was enough to win the Junior Driver award to add to his already secured Fiesta and Class N3 titles in 2017.


“It’s a bit of a shame we couldn’t have rounded the year off in style but to be fair we have had a pretty much perfect year so I can’t complain,” said Bilham.


“The guys were great in sorting the problem for us and getting us back up and running. It was a nice experience to enjoy the stages without any pressures of a title to go for. It’s not often you can do that when chasing a championship. We didn’t take any risks at all and still managed a fastest time over the last loop which is nice to take away from the weekend.”


Bilham will now look ahead to the closed season to weigh up his options for 2018.


“As I said before the rally, we are looking at all options available to us for next year. We have a budget shortfall to be able to step up into the British Championship so will need to look at how best to use our Fiesta ST Trophy prize drive. We will just have to wait and see what happens now”.


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.

By sambilham, Sep 18 2017 08:12AM

2017 DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy champion Sam Bilham returns to the series to contest Trackrod Rally Yorkshire


Despite clinching the DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy with two rounds to spare, Bingley rally driver Sam Bilham will make a comeback to the series on his home event at the end of the month at Trackrod Rally Yorkshire.

The 2300 Club John Easson Award winner secured five wins from five starts this season which ensured he took the title at the Nicky Grist Stages in July. Bilham and co-driver Cameron Fair make a return after missing the Woodpecker Stages and will bid for glory in the Yorkshire forests on 30th September.

The Calvert Construction & Reis Motorsport Insurance backed Fiesta pilot has been a dominant force in the championship this year after narrowly missing out on taking the title in 2016. But with nothing to prove, Bilham can contest one of his favourite events of the year without the pressures of a championship to worry about.

“It’s been pretty much a dream season for Cameron and I, we couldn’t have asked for more really,” says Bilham.


“We made the decision to skip the Woodpecker as there wouldn’t really be much to gain from going down there but we just have to do my home rally. I wait all year for this one!”

As the final round of the BTRDA Rally Series, Bilham has been making plans for next season in the downtime between events and has put his championship winning Fiesta ST up for sale. If the car hasn’t sold by the time the event comes around, Bilham will be looking to take a sixth win of the year.

“We are at a bit of a crossroads at the moment and it's hard to figure out which way to turn next season,” he says.


“We would love to progress into the British Championship but we simply don’t have the budget for that at the moment. We do have our prize drive’s available to us next season so we are trying to figure out a programme which best fits around that. But first, we have the Trackrod to contend with and I`m looking forward to going out and just enjoying myself”.

In the other categories of the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, Bilham will also fight for a Silver Star, Production Cup and Junior Driver Award podium places.

Trackrod Rally Yorkshire takes place on 30th September and contains 44 miles of stages in the Dalby forests based around Filey Brigg Country Park.


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.


By sambilham, Jul 10 2017 02:09PM

Sam Bilham becomes the 2017 DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy champion with win number five at the Nicky Grist Stages


Bingley rally driver Sam Bilham secured the hotly-contested DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy at last weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages after taking his fifth win of the series.


Bilham and co-driver Cameron Fair needed only a podium result on the event but took yet another victory to seal the championship with two rounds remaining.


The 2300 Club John Easson Award winner has dominated the series this season, maintaining an unbeaten record on each one of the five rounds Bilham has contested. The Calvert Construction & Reis Motorsport Insurance backed Fiesta pilot will now receive an exciting prize drive which is due to be announced by the championship organisers in the coming days.


Since he started in the sport, Bilham has always followed a progressive career path which culminated in tackling the inaugural Fiesta ST Trophy in 2016. He narrowly missed out on the title after leading for much of the season but his efforts did not go unnoticed by the panel of the prestigious John Easson Award, who handed him the opportunity to contest the championship again in 2017.


Bilham returned to the popular single-make series this year in the hope of going one better and taking the illustrious championship honours. He achieved his goal, winning each one of the rounds to become unbeatable as the series heads into its summer break.


The Nicky Grist Stages offered 44 miles of all-gravel action in classic Welsh forests surrounding the Epynt Military Ranges and Bilham knew what he needed to do to secure the title. A podium spot would be enough for the 21-year-old and taking no risks, opened proceedings with second Fiesta runner through the first two stages.


However, drama struck on the third test when the gear selector fell apart, leaving Bilham with only fourth gear mid-way through the stage. Not only did Bilham manage to nurse the car through the remainder of the test, but through the next as well before the team could effect repairs on the Fiesta. Despite losing a chunk of time, Bilham found himself back in front after the retirement of rival Alasdair Currie.


There he would stay for the remaining four stages to cross the finish of the final test as 2017 Fiesta ST Trophy champion and securing the BTRDA N3 title to boot.


“It’s a fantastic feeling to have finally won the championship after last year's close call,” said Bilham.


“On paper, it looks like we had it all our own way this year but the competition has been really tough out there and the pace has been incredible at times. I learnt a lot from last season and we played the long game, pushing only when we needed to and backing off when we didn’t. The car has been perfect too thanks to the efforts of the team who have been great, as has Cameron. It’s great to have him alongside me and share the win with”.


Bilham is also excited for the future.


“It's always hard to progress in the sport and budget is the biggest obstacle with that,” he says.


“We understand the prize drive for winning is a pretty impressive one so hopefully we can put that to good use. I’m overjoyed to win this title and reward all our backers for putting their faith in me. It’s been a great year”.


In the other categories of the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series, Bilham now moves into second place of the Silver Star Championship, third in the Production Cup and heads the Junior Driver Award.


Bilham will now use the summer to decide his next steps for the remainder of the season.


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.


By sambilham, Jun 30 2017 10:28AM

Sam Bilham can take DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy title at this weekend’s Nicky Grist Stages


DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy contender Sam Bilham lies just one podium result away from clinching the title this weekend as the series heads to Wales for the Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 8th July).

The 2300 Club John Easson Award winner has dominated the hotly contested championship this season, taking four wins from four starts in his Calvert Construction & Reis Motorsport Insurance backed Fiesta. One more podium will see the Bingley ace seal the championship and Ravenol BTRDA Class N3 honours with two rounds still to go.


Bilham and co-driver Cameron Fair have enjoyed the top step of the podium at every round so far this season and in only his second season behind the wheel of the Fiesta, Bilham is on course to take the win he so narrowly missed out on in 2016.

The Fiesta ST Trophy is quickly becoming the most popular single make rally series in the UK and with up to 10 competitors vying for honours at the all-gravel events, the pace is increasing with every round. Bilham has never strayed far from the number one slot all season and has picked up maximum scores at each round contested. This means the title could be decided in Builth Wells this weekend.

“It has been pretty much a fairy tale season so far for Cameron and I but we really can't take anything for granted this weekend,” says Bilham. “The competition is that close out there, a puncture or a spin can throw you right down the order so we really need to keep at the top of our game. Of course, it’s hard not to think about the title but at the same time, we still need to get a podium and that is not a sure bet by any means”.

His approach to the weekend won’t be any different to the others in the season.


“I need to take this rally as it comes and not get too wrapped up in points and titles. I`ll keep my head down and get on with it and try and stay out of trouble. I`ll see where we are during the day and make a decision based on that whether to push or back off, just like I have done in all the other rounds.”

Bilham also has the BTRDA Class N3 as well as the Junior Award within his grasp this weekend. He also sits third in the two wheel drive Silver Star category and Group N Production Cup.

The Nicky Grist Stages takes place over 42 stage miles of classic welsh forests such as Crychan and Halfway 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.



By sambilham, Jun 13 2017 07:43AM

Sam Bilham takes fourth Fiesta ST Trophy win in a row at DMACK Carlisle Stages


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 in an impressive 19th overall.


“It’s been a pretty nervous week if I`m honest and to come away with 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.




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