By sambilham, Mar 20 2018 09:17AM
Reigning Fiesta ST Trophy champion Sam Bilham will make his debut in a Vauxhall ADAM Cup car at the opening round of the Rally2 championship this weekend (24th March), Rally North Wales.
His inaugural event in the new machine will be bolstered by support from leading motorsport tyre manufacturer DMACK who will assist Bilham throughout the 2018 season. The Cumbrian outfit were responsible for providing tyres to the Fiesta Trophy in 2017 and will continue their relationship with the Bingley driver in the Vauxhall.
The 2016 John Easson Award winner has been offered the use of the impressive ADAM by Nigel Lewis, owner of specialist engineering firm Mechanical Solutions. The Nottinghamshire business will back Bilham’s outing in the machine and keeping it in the family, he will be co-driven by F1000 Junior contender Eddie Lewis, son of owner Nigel.
The Dolgellau based event will be Bilham’s first since taking the Fiesta ST Trophy title last season and is eager to compete across some of the stages utilised by the WRC qualifier, Wales Rally GB in the new machine.
Bilham enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career in 2017, taking multiple class and category wins to take the coveted Fiesta trophy with two rounds to spare. After lifting the title, the 21-year old has been searching for the budget to progress his career ever since.
The offer of the ADAM Cup car to contest selected Rally2 events was too good to pass up and he will head to Wales in a bid to learn the car which offers a new driving experience for the Yorkshire man. He is excited by the prospect of competing on world-class stages in the nimble steed.
“We had a small test a few weeks ago but it was simply designed to allow me to get used to the car and the sequential gearbox which is certainly a very new experience for me” says Bilham.
“I think I will learn a lot more in the first few miles of the legendary Dyfi stage though and whilst I’m a little apprehensive, I’m really buzzing to get going. The car handles really well and turns in and stops perfectly. It’s a lot closer to an R2 car which is where I want to progress into so this gives me the perfect opportunity to learn my craft without too much pressure.”
Rally North Wales offers over 42 miles of stages in the Dyfi and Gartheiniog Forest complex and is the first event to utilise the new Rally2WD format. Competitors in the two wheel drive section of the event will leave Dolgellau early on Saturday (24th March) before returning to the town for the rally finish at around lunchtime later that day.
Sam is supported by Mechanical Solutions, The 2300 Club John Easson Award, Calvert Construction, Reis Motorsport Insurance, DMACK Tyres, The Garage at Stanley Mills and Gareth Hooper Motorsport Services.