October 18th 2008

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And so we arrive at the 50th anniversary running of the rally.

The local paper the Express and Star as original sponsor were enthusiastically behind the celebration of the 50 years, as was the event's current sponsor, Bulldog Security Products.

Once again the event ran three separate rallies, out of Oswestry livestock market. These were the main event, a clubman's rally and a mini rally. For another year there was no separate historic rally.

On the main Bulldog Rally it was Marcus Dodd and Andrew Bargery who won the battle over less than 65 stage miles. Despite the reduction in miles and hence in cost only 43 crews started. Of these a mere 30 were left at the finish after the 6 stages. The financial turmoil in the country really was having an effect.

The Bulldog Clubman's Rally benefited as competitors switched to reduce their costs. An increase number of 90 crews started, of whom 68 finished. At the top of the leader board there was an epic battle between Nick Elliott and Ieuan Rowlands. The win went to Nick in his historic spec. Escort by 1.3 seconds in 54.5minutes of special stages, from Ieuan's home built 'club' version.

On the other hand the Mini Rally idea had seem to have run its course as only 4 entries were received. All the crews finished, however, led by Sion Matthews in a Vauxhall Nova. Sadly no Pat Flynn this year.

Despite its reputation for solid organisation and classic forest stages the rally's future was going to be a battle to balance the books with difficulties at least as great as those it had survived in its first 50 years. Now the newly invigorated organising team set about squaring up to these challenges of the next 50 years.