SAM Bilham's disappointment at suffering engine troubles in his home rally was massaged by him lifting a national award.

The Bingley man return to the 2017 DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy came in the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, where he finished fifth.

However, that placing was enough for him to add another title to his collection as he secured the Ravenol BTRDA Rally Series Junior Driver Award.

The 2300 Club John Easson Award winner had already wrapped up the hotly-contested single- make championship title back in July, and headed back to the Yorkshire forests without the pressures of a championship to win.

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, as he had won every round of the series he had contested thus far, and was eager to end the year on a high before finalising his plans for 2018.

Bilham kicked off the event with the second-fastest time on the opening Langdale test, just four seconds adrift of the leading crew, but his hard work was 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 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 a nice thing to take away from the weekend."

Bilham is now weighing up his options for 2018.

He admitted: "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."

* 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.