Motorsport’s Most Anticipated: The Rolex 24 Returns To Daytona For The 61st Time
Anticipated throughout the year, the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway draws motorsports’ most influential names to the famed circuit for 24 hours of competition. Boasting decades of collaboration with the legendary watch company, the event reflects the subtle similarities between the worlds of racing and luxury goods, both of which value quality over all else. Hosting some of the best racers and vehicles in the world, the Rolex 24 has continually refined itself to become a leading international motorsports gathering, setting the tone for annual events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring. This year’s Rolex 24 was especially significant, as it showcased some of the rapidly advancing technology that is set to redefine endurance racing.
Last weekend marked the 61st anniversary of the Rolex 24, featuring five racing categories taking on the 3.56 mile track. Winning teams and vehicles across the categories included the #60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-06 in GTP, the #55 Proton Competition Oreca LMP2-07 Gibson in LMP2, #17 AWA Duqueine D08-VK in LMP3, the #79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in GTD Pro and the #27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in GTD. After kicking the year off at Daytona as part of the Grand Touring Prototype class, participating Le Mans Daytona hybrid vehicles are set to make an appearance at 24 Hours of Le Mans, held in France in June.
Five-time Rolex 24 and three-time Le Mans winner, Hurley Haywood, was one of the racing greats present at this year’s event and the one who introduced me to the highly advanced monitoring technology available to participating drivers these days.
Rolex’ relationship with the Daytona International Speedway dates back to its inception in 1959- a few years later, the company debuted the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph, an icon associated with victory to this day. As this year’ first place winners, racer Tom Blomqvist and his teammates took home the coveted Oyster Cosmograph Daytona after competing in vehicle #60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-06. After becoming the event’s official title sponsor in 1992, the brand’s connection to motorsports deepened as it partnered with prestigious events across the world.
Today, Rolex is the Official Timepiece of Formula 1, with high profile racers joining the team as Rolex Testimonees (Sir Jackie Stewart, three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion, remains among the best known Testimonees). The Daytona track itself rose to fame thanks to 12 World Land Speed Records, set on its beach circuit in the early 1900’s.
Coinciding with the drive and motivation that forms the core of the motorsports field, Rolex’ brand philosophy strives towards an excellence first introduced by its founder, Hans Wildorf. Constantly innovating new, improved, and highly precise products, the company’s watches resemble the most exciting racing vehicles gracing tracks like Daytona this year. This Rolex 24 set an acclaimed precedent for the rest of the events taking place over the course of 2023, including 24 Hours of Le Mans, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, and more. Closely affiliated with the events mentioned above, the Rolex brand continues to be deeply ingrained in the motoring world, offering unmatched exclusivity to an already thrilling world.