28 January, 2019 | Yesterday saw the 27th year of the Rolex 24 At Daytona 24-hour sports car endurance race take place in treacherous rain.
Champions from across motorsport took to the famed North American circuit – the Daytona International Speedway – for this iconic test of endurance. After an intense contest in extreme weather conditions, resulting in the race finishing under the red flag, it was the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. that took overall victory. The winning drivers, Jordan Taylor, Renger van der Zande, Fernando Alonso, and Kamui Kobayashi, led in the dry during the early stages of the race before mastering the treacherous rain and standing water that challenged the field in the final nine hours.
This year’s race was officially started by 2019 Grand Marshal Scott Pruett. The five-time overall winner of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and friend of Rolex reflected on the race: “It’s been a dream come true to be Grand Marshal, I’m really humbled and it’s been a fantastic experience. The racing was incredibly tight from the start – it was nose to tail – with a lot of action in all the classes. It is unfortunate that we finished under the red flag, but the conditions were so tough and the right call was made. When you drive in these conditions it’s intense and precision is key because as we’ve seen if you put a foot wrong, it will catch you out. The race, over the last 24 hours, demanded the highest level of commitment, focus and dedication, and the drivers have been inspirational.”
Following the race, the dedication and excellence of the winning team was celebrated in Victory Lane. In tribute to this success, Rolex rewards the victorious drivers with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, an infinite reminder of their achievement. Having stood on the top step of the podium in Victory Lane, Pruett fondly remembers the moment: “When you consider all the time, effort and energy that goes into trying to win the Rolex 24, it is completely consuming and a watch is a symbol of this commitment. If you win a trophy, it sits in your trophy case. However, when you win a Daytona, with “Winner” engraved on the back, there’s nothing more special. There’s no current driver or past driver who wouldn’t say the most memorable thing you can take away from this race is the watch.”
For more information visit the Rolex website.
Get more timepiece news in our Watches and Jewellery section.