TEENAGER Sam Bilham has every incentive to stay out of trouble as he heads into one of the "toughest rallies of the year" in Shropshire at the weekend.

The Bingley prospect will be tackling the Eventsigns Woodpecker Rally, which is the seventh round of the BTRDA Gravel Rally Championship.

Driving his usual Nissan Micra in the Rally First category, 17-year-old Bilham will be looking to add yet another maximum-points score to his already healthy lead in the 1.0-litre series.

With the season heading towards its conclusion in just three rallies' time, he will head to the event with a clear objective to stay on track in the hotly-contested championship.

Still in just his first year of gravel rallying, the Next Big Step-supported driver has already made waves in the popular BTRDA National championship.

Not only is he leading the small-capacity class but he is also a strong second in the overall Rally First series against his more powerful 1400cc rivals.

Co-driven once again by Graham Wild, Bilham said: "This weekend is probably going to be one of the toughest rallies I'll compete in all year.

"The pressure will be on us throughout to make sure that not only we get to the end but we bag some top points for our championship hopes too.

"It will be a good test for me. The nerves will certainly be tingling a little on the start line of the first stage on Saturday morning."