With Bulldog firmly on board as title sponsor the format of the previous two years continued for 1997. Entries were up for the main event and the sun shone making the rally an exciting spectacle for competitors, officials and followers. The icing on the cake once again were entries for Mark Higgins in a Nissan Sunny, Robbie Head and Martin Rowe in Renault Maxi Meganes.
With the Championship came the Nissan Micra and Ford Ka, one make, championships.
For the first time there were more entries on the Historic Rally than on the Clubman Event.
The Mintex Championship title was to be decide on the event, dependant upon the performance of Murray Grierson. This was soon resolved as Murray retired on stage 4 and the title went to Brian Lyall who was sitting out the event.
Mark Higgins retired half way through, in Sweet Lamb and the two Megane’s did not hand their time cards at the end. It was one of the rising stars of national rallying that prevailed over the more established competitors, to take the rally win. Marcus Dodd won by more than 45 seconds.
In the Meirion Rally it was Andy Meirs who won in his Ford Escort Mk II from the Escort Cosworth of Charlie Pye.
In the Historic Rally all cars were models manufactured before 1968 and there were no Ford Escorts on the entry list. It was Porsche 911’s that took first, second, fourth and sixth. Dessie Nutt drove the winning car.