by David Whitney
Once again the country roads and windy mountain roads will hear the roar of the engines of this year’s record breaking 125 entry list of teams taking part in what has become one of Mallorca’s most prestigious and famous event. The XIX Rally Clasico. This rally should not be missed and this year as before the rally begins and finishes each day at Puerto Portals where all the teams have their pit areas.
The rally starts at 18.00 on Thursday 9th March competing over 3 days and finishing on Saturday 11th March with prize giving at 19.00. Each car is presented on the start podium and off it goes for the first stage, in fact along main roads and local areas, A short route but certain roads will be closed so the teams can get those cars somewhat over the normal speed limits. This year the order of the cars leaving is changed so allowing the competition cars to start first so the drivers behind the wheel during the night shift on Thursday and the other days will not have to slow down for the car classes that do not fight against the stopwatch as intensely as the cars that run in the category for speed. Exciting for the drivers and fans alike. For me this rally means Spring is in the air as it is the first of the beginning of events on the island and this 19th year of the rally proves that it a success drawing teams from all over Europe and the UK. With media newspaper, radio and tv coverage of the rally it certainly provides extra publicity for the island. We hope that the sun will certainly shine and the warmth of the sun and of all attending will show through as this event really does bring all people together and the young ones are excited to see such cars, never seen before.
So it was that I attended the Media presentation on behalf of Celebrity magazine and I shall be following up with all the news of the rally, the winners and hopefully good weather so the cars can perform to their full potential. Praise goes out in making this event another memorable rally as so much organisation behind the scenes, working with the Councils, the Sponsors and media is often forgotten. These events don’t just happen!!! This year, Flannigans in Puerto Portals hosted the presentation a few days ago and the ever enthusiastic Toni Dezcallar, Director of the rally accompanied by Miquel Pastor, Director of the Fundaciò Mallorca Turisme, and Álvaro Irala, Director of Puerto Portals all gave their overview of what is surely going to be one of the best rallies so far.
High quality cars, top rally teams and different classes of cars will bring smiles to all fans touring the pits before the rally begins. This is the beauty of the rally as entry is free to all. Get close to the cars, talk to the drivers and even programmes are available free to all who come along. Not only that, fans can also watch the cars power along the closed road stages for photos that will bring a “wow” to all who have not seen real and some famous rally cars at full speed.
The programmes and the rally website (https://www.rallyislamallorca.com) provides all the times, and the stages for each day so make sure to check out the site for all information. This year, a record entry of 125 teams and 29 different car makes coming from 11 different countries, such as the UK, Switzerland, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Germany and Spain of course as well as Mallorca. International and National Champions such as the famous Nadal Galiana or Dominik an der Heiden, the champions Kris Rosenberger and Seb Perez, and the champion Florian Feustel are all taking part. Have your autograph books and cameras ready!!!Do not miss out and visit the pits early as the drivers and mechanics prepare for the start time.
See the racing Porsches, Lancia Stratos, a rare one indeed, MGF’s, Morgans, Fords being famous for their long history in the sport and BMW’s, Lotus, Ferrari’s, Alfa Romeo, Renaults, Audi’s, Mitsubishi, and mini’s to name but a few. One not to miss is the Austin Healey 100-6 from 1954, designed by famed British designer and rally driver Donald Healey, of which only 640 were produced, it is the oldest vehicle in the rally at 69 years although the average age of the cars is 46 years old. A true Rally Clasico.So main roads, closed stages and this year a new stage replacing Sa Calobra due to the recent rock fall collapse caused by the heavy rains so the new section ‘Lluc-Puigmajor’ designed to replace Sa Calobra, will be a real boost for pilots driving along its demanding 19 kilometers through the Sierra de Tramontana. A stage not to be missed and all can watch, but look out for the stage times and do arrive in good time. Some may think that a car rally with mostly petrol engines is not a good thing but for me you cannot beat the sounds of a race engine and even the normal car classes as they bring joy and excitement, something different in times when we all face so many challenges. Not only that the rally organisers support the environment and where the competition takes place. It works hand in hand with the Automobile Federation of the Balearic Islands in supporting sustainability, raising awareness among pilots and fans to follow recommendations in favour of the environment. The organisation together with the Escorca City Council, works to preserve the privileged Mediterranean forest of Mallorca, recovering centuries-old olive trees from Tramuntana mountain range. Last year more than 1,000 square meters of olive trees in Cala Tuent were planted and this year it will again continue to water that seed in favour of sustainability and the environment.
Mallorca should be proud to present such a prestigious rally event built over the last 19 years by Antonio Dezcaller and the great team, the sponsors and the councils so do please make a note in your diary and come along to Puerto Portals on Thursday 9th March afternoon, see the start and check out the rally website for all information, rally maps and much more. I shall write my full rally report after the 11th March, with winners photos and the presentation. Enjoy your Celebrity Magazine bringing you interesting stories, events, recommendations so for all updates then do please subscribe to our free newsletter, read our online magazine and visit our website at www.celebritymallorca.es. We welcome new ideas and your feedback. Celebrity magazine is for you!