This was the year that, after twenty five years, there was a change of clerk of course.This did not lead to any immediate changes in the format of the event. The start and finish were at the livestock market in Oswestry once again. Once again there was no separate historic event to swell the numbers.
The main rally was a 70 stage mile, 6 stage national A status event counting towards the MSA Gravel Championship. The innovation this year was that there was no separate prize-giving as the awards were handed out while the champagne was sprayed under the finish arch.
The clubman had a 45 stage mile, 4 stage national B status event and following a successful introduction in the previous year, the mini rally returned. The clubmen did have a prize giving all of their own to receive their awards and the acclaim of fellow competitors.
Entries had not improved on the previous year and a meagre 47 crews started, 26 finishing, this despite there being multiple single make and special awards incentives. Last year's winner Marcus Dodd rolled out in stage 4 and so it was Andrew Burton who led the rally home in his legendary home built Peugeot Cosworth from perennial second placed man Steve Perez.
Things were slightly better in the Bulldog Clubman's Rally where 62 started and 45 finished. These numbers were bolstered by the Malcolm Wilson Motorsport Fiesta Challenge. It was Gordon Cunningham in a Mitsubishi Lancer that emerged the winner. Jonny Greer was the leading Fiesta Driver with very young Elfyn Evans 4th in the category.
The Mini Bulldog had 8 starters, one more than last year, but only 6 finished this time. Last year's winner, the effervescent Pat Flynn, was beaten this time into second place by Malcolm Hague.
And so it was a smooth transfer to the new era for the rally.