The Mallorca Classic Car Rally got underway last night in Puerto Portals for the eleventh year running. A record number of one hundred participants are taking part in this three day race which takes cars and their teams to Andratx, Capdellà, Calvià, Estellencs, Sa Calobra, Puig Major, Pollença, Sóller, Lluc, Sineu and a few others more.
If you are into classic sports cars such as TVR, Jaguar, BMW, Morgan, Ferrari, Aston Martin, MG, Lancia, Lamborghini, Triumph, Lotus and Porsche, you might want to try and catch sight of one or the other rally participant between now and Saturday, March 14th.
The event is mainly sponsored by Swiss watch maker Oris and Banco Madrid. Ironically, the bank’s seven-member board resigned last Wednesday from their functions following accusations by the American authorities against Banca Privada d’Andorra, or BPA, their main shareholder. A new Mallorca Classic Car Rally sponsor may have to be found for next year’s event.
Some of the participants’ cars had liveries referring to LORYC, a very classic car brand made in Mallorca, would you believe it? Between 1920 and 1926, LORYC motorcars were manufactured by hand in Palma de Mallorca before production was moved to France. The cars were a sight to behold and achieved some spectacular rally results, including races on circuits like Le Mans (France) and the Vuelta a Catalunya. Six classic LORYC cars are reputedly still in running condition, four of them here in Mallorca and two more, in Menorca. I have seen two of ones in Mallorca with my own eyes in a private collection in Costa de la Calma two years ago. Here is one of those beauties. Now, that’s a classic car.
Update: Sadly, there was a tragic accident on the last day of the rally event. The Oris Rally Clásico was cancelled after the tragedy and the remaining events were suspended.
Five kilometres into the race leg from Campanet to Pollença, a Renault 5 Turbo had lost control and hit a tree. The copilot, José Lumbreras del Brío, was killed upon impact. The car caught fire as a result of the collision. The driver, Carlos Iscar, could be freed from the burning wreck and was rushed to the hospital in Palma with burns affecting 50 percent of his body. After being stabilized, the man was then transferred by helicopter to the special burns unit of the hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona.
A memorial reunion in homage of José Lumbreras del Brío will be held on Monday, March 16th at 20h00, at the Renault shop at Carrer Asegra, 3, in Palma de Mallorca (Poligono de Can Valero).