SAM Bilham heads to this weekend's Woodpecker Stages Rally in need of a first victory to keep his Fiesta ST Trophy championship hopes alive.

The Bingley driver has led the ultra-competitive series for much of the season but now finds himself requiring a bit of luck on his side.

The 19-year-old has maintained a consistent run of form in his inaugural season behind the wheel of his Fiesta ST. Coupled with an increase of pace throughout the year, Bilham has enjoyed topping the table more than any other driver.

But with a first win eluding him, he now find himself the victim of 'dropped scores' and he will need to choose his plan of attack carefully over the closing two rounds.

Bilham has enjoyed a 100 per cent finishing record so far and will be looking to maintain that achievement in the Shropshire and Powys forests.

Yet to stand any chance of taking the title, he and co-driver Graham Wild will need to be on the attack from the very first stage at the Ludlow-based event.

"To a certain degree, this year has been all about learning the car and set-ups," said Bilham.

"But now we are in this position in the championship, we do have to alter our plan of attack somewhat and try and get that first win under our belt.

"Catching Cameron Davies (joint-series leader) is a tall order but our pace has been improving on each event, so it feels right to start to push on a little."

Bilham is no stranger to this event, which is one of his favourites on the calendar.

"I've done the Woodpecker twice now and I really do enjoy the stages," he said.

"They can be quite deceptive and grip levels change a lot – but the Radnor and Haye Park stages are super-fast, which should be even more exciting this year in the Fiesta.

"To a certain degree though, we need to do our own thing; have our own rally. But one thing is for sure, we won't be backing off."