Rolex is proud to announce that 2016 will mark its 24th year as the Official Timekeeper of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 54th edition of the race will take place from Saturday 30 to Sunday 31 January 2016, inaugurating the all-new Daytona International Speedway with the start of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. The circuit has undergone a $400 million, two-year transformation as part of the DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project.
ROLEX AND DAYTONA
Rolex has an illustrious history in Daytona, which adds a sense of heritage to this exciting and progressive event. As a pioneer of sports sponsorship, the luxury Swiss watch brand has supported track racing at Daytona since the late 1950s, but the connection with the area dates back further still. The long, flat and very firm Daytona Beach played host to 14 land speed records in the early part of the 20th century – five of which were set by Rolex wearer, Sir Malcolm Campbell, including the fastest official record there of 276mph in 1935 at the wheel of his mighty Bluebird. Nearly 60 years later, Rolex became Title Sponsor of the 24-hour Daytona classic, formalizing a long-standing association with the speedway and strengthening the link between the 24-hour race and the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona watch. The brand is now so closely tied to the event that aficionados simply refer to it as “The Rolex”.
Historically known as one leg of the informal Triple Crown of endurance racing, the Rolex 24 At Daytona is regarded by many as the toughest and is conducted entirely over a compact 5.73 km (3.56-mile) closed circuit, without the use of any public streets. The Daytona race challenges drivers with a unique combination of the high-banked tri-oval superspeedway, interrupted by a chicane on the back straight and a sweeping, fast infield section including two hairpins. This makes for a demanding course, made even more challenging given the drivers complete almost 700 laps of it, of which half will be tackled in darkness. The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the ultimate race against time; two laps of the clock and every second counts. The precision and level of commitment needed throughout the race perfectly reflects Rolex’s dedication to excellence.
To finish the Rolex 24 At Daytona is an achievement, to win it takes something special. So how does one conquer such a gruelling endurance event? Rolex Testimonee and nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen explains: “Endurance racing is all about teamwork; both the cars and drivers are pushed to the extreme, making it one of the ultimate tests for man and machine. The tougher the challenge, the greater one’s will to conquer it; whether in the early stages of the race or in the gruelling hours of darkness, every lap, every second, every hundredth of a second counts at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.”
The Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona was created in 1963. This legendary timepiece has established an extraordinary track record in the world of motor racing thanks to its reliability and performance and represents the ultimate award in motor sport. Known simply as the “Daytona”, this iconic watch has become the most famous and most coveted chronograph in the world of motor racing. Every driver wants to win their Rolex; “It’s all about the watch”, said Scott Pruett on the eve of the 2013 race that he and his team would go on to win – Pruett’s record-equalling fifth victory at Daytona.
Next year’s race will begin at 14.10 EST on Saturday 30 January 2016 and will feature the highly anticipated debut of the new Ford GT race car.
ROLEX AND MOTOR SPORT
Rolex's history of close ties with motor sport reaches back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, as he became the first driver to break the 300 mph barrier, at Bonneville Salt Flats. Since then, Rolex has partnered with iconic endurance and classic events steeped in tradition, and more recently with the leading motor sport series, Formula 1®.
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 programmes.
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