Bingley Grammar School

Sam Bilham is set for his next challenge this weekend

5ab529a5ebdeee2caf2312423d91adb3_XLSam will be taking on another Rally challenge this weekend at the BTRDA Rally Championship in Wales. Below is an article about the event and Sam's success so far this year. Good luck Sam!

BTRDA Rally Championship Junior star Sam Bilham will make the trip to Wales this weekend as he contests the sixth round of the series, the Nicky Grist Stages Rally. The event takes place on the tricky gravel roads which once hosted the final round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB and as this is Bilham's first season on gravel, will be well aware that if roads are challenging to the world's best, they will certainly provide Bilham with a complete test of his skills.

The 17 year old from Bingley in West Yorkshire has piloted his RallyFirst one-litre Nissan Micra to a host of successful results so far this year and as the championship reaches the final four rounds, Bilham will be aiming to capitalise on his solid points haul gained in the first half of the season. With regular co-driver Graham Wild on-board for this event, the duo is pleased with their season so far. "It's been a very steep learning curve this year" says Bilham. "The transition to gravel has been harder than I thought but with the support I have had from the likes of The Next Big Step award and my team; I feel that my progression in the car has been great. The stages on this event are amazing, probably some of the best in Wales and I can't wait to get stuck into the classics such as Route60 and Halfway".

But chasing down the RF1.0 category title isn't enough for the youngster. At just past the halfway point of the season, Bilham finds himself only a few points away from the podium in the Rally First overall category, where he mixes with the much more powerful 1400 and 1600cc competitors. Not only that, but he is chasing down the lead of the overall Junior award which features competitors in all classes, including four wheel drive, turbocharged cars. "It's great to be battling for the top slot in our class, but to be challenging the guys for overall awards is fantastic at this point in my career" he says. "I need to keep focused on this event and concentrate on getting to the end, but I certainly won't be just here for the points. It's pretty much always 'maximum attack' in the car and the stages that lie ahead will certainly be some of the best I've driven on, so I'm sure I'll enjoy them more flat out!"

The Nicky Grist Stages Rally will start and finish in Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells and takes some 150 crews through over 43 miles of competitive driving on Saturday 12h July before the finishers reach the finish podium later that afternoon.

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