Monterey, Sunday 20 August 2017 – Motoring enthusiasts savoured four fantastic days of historic racing during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary. The 2017 Reunion gathered together vehicles from throughout the ages, honouring the Diamond Jubilee of Formula Junior and 70 years of Ferrari. It falls to racing legends such as Rolex Testimonee Tom Kristensen to bring these vintage automobiles back to life out on track, adding to the already exceptional nature of this event.
Describing his time behind the wheel of his LMP1 Audi R8 (2005), nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen said, “It’s amazing to have the opportunity to bring this car – which won Le Mans and Sebring in 2005 – here to Laguna Seca, especially as it’s my first visit to Monterey. It was a very nostalgic moment; it felt like coming home. I had a little bit of a tear in my eye… because of the wind speed of course! In particular, I loved driving into the pit lane, seeing everyone embracing the car and celebrating all that the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion stands for.”
The Reunion is the largest and most prestigious historic race gathering in America, specializing in and focusing on the authenticity of the automobile; almost all of the 510 vintage vehicles in attendance have real racing history and must be prepared according to their original specifications and livery. Rolex shares this appreciation of motor racing history and heritage, which underscores why the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry has been Title Sponsor of the event since 2010.
Whether shrouded in the notorious marine layer or bathed in Californian sunshine, Laguna Seca is one of the most challenging circuits. Featuring the most famous corner in American motor sport, The Corkscrew, the track requires ultimate performance from both man and machine with abrupt hairpins, blind crests and steep elevation changes. Managing to master this breathtaking circuit and claim the Rolex Spirit of Monterey Award for 2017 was car #62, the 1967 Ginetta G4, with its driver Lee Talbot receiving the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. Considered the ultimate racing driver’s watch, this timeless chronograph seems the perfect way to mark such an enduring achievement.
ROLEX AND HERITAGE
Rolex’s links to motor racing and speed date back to the 1930s when Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the 300-mile per hour barrier at the wheel of his World Land Speed Record car, Bluebird, with a Rolex on his wrist. This pioneering moment of performance and innovation represented a milestone in sporting history and perfectly reflects Rolex’s culture. Rolex has since maintained an appreciation for motor sport tradition and heritage, hence the brand’s close ties to Goodwood Revival, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and Monterey Classic Car Week as a whole. These events are a glorious step back in time, offering a unique opportunity to relive the Golden Age of motor sport and celebrate the style and beauty of a forgotten era, as well as the sport’s heroes.
Rolex, the Swiss watch brand headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and 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 in-house all the essential components of its watches, 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
Emily Lopes, Influence Sports & Media
+44 7739 109 878