GENEVA, 15 JANUARY 2016
The 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona will showcase the completed DAYTONA Rising Project for the first time. The redeveloped Daytona International Speedway will stage the 54th edition of the event, which sees drivers compete for 24 gruelling hours, half of them at night, in the hope of winning the coveted Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch. This year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, often referred to as ‘The Rolex’, will mark the Swiss watchmaker’s 24th year as the Official Timepiece of America’s most renowned endurance race.
On such a momentous race weekend both for Rolex and Daytona, it is befitting that Rolex Testimonee and nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen will act as Grand Marshal for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Not only will Tom start the race, but he will also present the winners with the specially engraved Rolex timepiece. Tom Kristensen said: “To be Grand Marshal at this prestigious race at such an important time for both the Daytona International Speedway and Rolex is really special – both have such great motor racing heritage. It will be particularly special for me to present the winners of the race with the iconic Rolex Daytona watch, something as drivers we all set out to win”.
Arnaud Boetsch, Communication & Image Director of Rolex SA, said: “Rolex is very proud to celebrate its 24th year as the Official Timepiece of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, especially with the completion of DAYTONA Rising. The development of the Speedway will ensure fans have an even more exciting experience when they come to watch this legendary race. Just as Rolex continues to push the boundaries in watchmaking, Daytona is constantly finding new ways to invigorate the motor racing fan experience”.
Joie Chitwood III, President of the Daytona International Speedway, said: “DAYTONA Rising reshaped what a race experience can be, blending the modern amenities that today’s sports fans demand with the heritage that race fans expect from Daytona. It is so important to share this moment with our partners such as Rolex, who have been there with us since the beginning and who understand the culture and values of motor racing at the highest level”.
The refurbished Daytona International Speedway will now offer fans an exciting combination of heritage and modern amenities: over 100,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms, three times as many concession stands and five expanded and redesigned entrances. Fans will also have access to three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious social areas, or ‘neighbourhoods’, along the almost mile-long front-stretch – helping to transform the Speedway into an entertainment complex and adding to the race weekend experience. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with panoramic trackside views and a completely refurbished hospitality experience for corporate guests.
THE START OF A LEGEND
Having hosted some of the greatest moments in motor sport history, Daytona has changed and adapted to accommodate motor racing since the early 1900s. The long, flat and very firm Daytona Beach is where 14 world land speed records were set in the early part of the 20th century, five of which by Rolex wearer Sir Malcolm Campbell, including the fastest official record of 276 mph in 1935 at the wheel of his mighty Bluebird. Daytona Beach became a mecca for motor sport with the Daytona Beach Road Course hosting races for over 50 years. In 1959, the course was replaced by the Daytona International Speedway, of which Rolex became Official Timepiece. The circuit’s most recent development, DAYTONA Rising, is now complete and will offer fans an exciting combination of heritage and modern amenities, transforming the Speedway into an entertainment complex and adding to the overall race weekend experience.
ROLEX AND MOTOR SPORTS: A LASTING LEGACY
Rolex has an illustrious history in Daytona and motor racing around the world: from endurance racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, classic car events such as Goodwood Revival and a partnership that started in 2013 with the pinnacle of motor sport, Formula 1®. Rolex shares with motor sport a passion for performance and innovation, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. This natural association has shaped legendary Rolex chronographs, such as the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph, born to race in 1963. A few years later Rolex added the name ‘Daytona’ to the dial of this iconic chronograph to mark its association with the Daytona International Speedway. With such a deep-rooted connection to Daytona, both in name and performance, this particular timepiece, now known simply as the ‘Daytona’, is revered in the world of motor racing thanks to its reliability and performance, representing the sport’s ultimate accolade. Just as the Daytona International Speedway has changed and developed over the years so has the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. What remains the same is the competitors’ hunger to win this prestigious race as much as the most coveted racing driver’s watch.
ABOUT ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
Considered one of the most prestigious endurance car races in the world, the Rolex 24 At Daytona is the only contest of its kind in North America. Held in January on the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, the 24 Hours of Daytona celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. This mythical event gathers the best endurance drivers in the world who race in teams and relay each other over 24 hours. The competition has become a real cult classic for the numerous spectators who come each year. Rolex has been associated with the Daytona International Speedway since 1959 and became Title Sponsor of the race in 1992.
Rolex, the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, is headquartered in Geneva and enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. A pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces all the essential components of its watches in-house, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programs.
Virginie Chevailler, Rolex SA
+41 22 302 26 19
Sophie Stansfield, Influence Sports
+44 7541 237 399
Rosanna Tennant, Influence Sports
+44 7711 423 869