From beach to mountain peak: Oris Rally Clásico 2014

If the Spanish island of Mallorca means nothing more to you than sun, sand and sangria, there's a good chance you've never heard of the Oris Rally Clásico...

Well, now you have - and if you're remotely interested in classic rallying, I'd recommend getting your 2015 entry in as soon as possible because I've just returned from this year's event and it was truly impressive.

Climbing the Calobra

Organised by local petrolhead Antonio Dezcallar, this was the 10th edition of the rally which covers around 650km of the island in three days - much of it around some of the most breathtaking roads you're ever likely to get the opportunity to drive, including the legendary Calobra Pass which climbs 668 metres from sea level in a distance of 10 kilometres, thanks to its 26 hairpin bends.

As guests of the rally, Team Classic Driver competed in a mildly tweaked VW Karmann Ghia belonging to Dezcallar which, in the best air-cooled VW tradition, proved ready, willing and able to tackle anything that we threw at it - albeit at its own, rather sedate pace.

'Sedate' was certainly not a word that could be applied to some of the other cars on the entry list, which included more than a dozen highly tuned Porsche 911s (including one beautifully prepared 911 S/T by Classic Driver dealer Flat Six Cars), a Lancia Stratos, a Metro 6R4, a TR8 and a Shelby Mustang to name but a few.

From Shelby to (new) Stratos

Throw into the mix a Renault 5 Maxi Turbo driven by none other than French rally legend Jean Ragnotti and even the unique 'New Stratos', conceived, developed, owned (and driven) by German automotive supplies tycoon Michael Stoschek, and you have a recipe for unparalleled motoring fun.

With the stage roads closed to other traffic and lined with cheering fans, the event was charged with a fabulous atmosphere and we have to award full marks to the organisers for creating a rally which was truly thrilling, yet really well controlled from a safety point of view. For full results of both the regularity and race categories, see orisrallyclasico.com - which is also where to go if you decide to enter next year. We highly recommend it...

To mark its sponsorship of the rally, Oris has created a limited-edition (1,000 made) Calobra driver's chronograph, featuring a case back engraved with an image of the legendary Calobra pass which is known locally as the 'Nus de sa Corbata' or 'tie knot'.  It costs £2,650 – for further information, see oris.ch.