4 October, 2018 | Earlier this year, the IWC Racing Team made their official Swiss debut at the 14th Arosa ClassicCar, with former Formula 1 star, Karl Wendlinger, driving the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing to seventh place on the hill-climb.
IWC Schaffhausen first introduced its motorsport team at the 76th Goodwood Members’ Meeting in southern England in March. The IWC Racing Team has now competed in its first race since the Goodwood premiere, starting the 14th Arosa ClassicCar in the Standard & Formula category.
“We are proud to be the first watch brand to launch its own racing team, and are particularly pleased that our Swiss debut was held against the breathtaking backdrop of the Swiss Alps,” said Linus Fuchs, IWC managing director, Switzerland.
A gathering for motorsport fans
The Arosa ClassicCar has attracted fans of historic motorsport from across the world since the first edition in 2005. Now, around 25 000 spectators watch the races along the twisting hill-climb route, which covers a distance of 7.3 kilometres and 422 vertical metres as it winds its way from from Langwies to Arosa. It is also the only course in Switzerland that has a 1.2 kilometre downhill stretch. With a healthy dose of Graubünden humour, the event organisers like to refer to their track as “the little Monaco of the Alps”. And like on the Côte d’Azur, around two kilometres of crash barriers and protective mesh are put in place every year for the Arosa ClassicCar.
Webdlinger behind the legendary Gullwing wheel
The first historic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing rolled off the production line in 1955 – the same year that IWC launched the Ingenieur. Named ‘sports car of the century’ in 1999, the 300 SL is instantly recognisable thanks to its gullwing doors.
With 215 HP and a top speed of 250 km/h, this unique vehicle deserved to be driven by a true professional. Wendlinger was part of the Sauber-Mercedes team that won the 1991 World Sports Car Championship and, in the years that followed, was a star in the newly formed Sauber Formula 1 team. The Austrian professional is an ambassador for Mercedes-AMG, a company IWC has shared a long-standing successful partnership with since 2004.