In the 1930s, Sir Malcolm Campbell set a World Land Speed Record in his automobile, Bluebird, by going 300 mph (483 km/h). That was the beginning of Rolex’s relationship with motorsports. Because of its continued involvement in prestigious endurance races like the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex has expanded its influence in motorsport, including the FIA World Endurance Championship.
After supporting Sir Jackie Stewart since 1968, Rolex became an official sponsor of Formula 1® in 2013. Three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion Tom Kristensen, the record nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mark Webber and Jenson Button, the 2009 FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion are among the other high-profile motorsports figures who have been invited to join the FIA World Endurance Championship. For the brand, classic car events like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Goodwood Revival hold a special place in their hearts.
About The Le Mans Races
For more than a century now, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been one of the most prestigious endurance races in the world. Le Mans’ nearly 100-year-long history has demanded drivers to constantly improve their driving talents, while the delicate balance between a car’s speed and its dependability has been tested in difficult conditions. For more than a decade now, Rolex has served as the event’s official timepiece, recognising the qualities at the heart of this ultimate challenge: prestige, endurance, dedication, and perfection. Rolex tester Tom Kristensen is a legend in the world of motorsport, and 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of his maiden victory at Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe in 1992.
The 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans kicked off on Saturday, June 11 at 4.00 p.m. local time at the Circuit de la Sarthe. More than a quarter of a million motorsports fans are anticipated to attend this year’s edition, which will take place nearly a century after the inaugural running of the famed endurance event.
Diving into the details of the race…
After the first two races of this year’s World Endurance Championship, Toyota Gazoo Racing and Alpine Elf Endurance Team are locked in a five-point battle. Double points will be awarded to the victor of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to emphasise the significance of the third race of the season. Resilience and perseverance are essential for victory as man and machine compete in unison twice a day, every day. Exhilarating pace is possible in some of these 86,400 seconds, but it is also necessary to take a more methodical approach in others. Finding and sustaining a rhythm on the 13.626-kilometer racetrack is critical, even as the day gives way to night and vice versa.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Tom Kristensen’s first of nine triumphs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest endurance race. For Kristensen, it was a pivotal moment in his racing career, and those 10 days in June 1997 were the most significant of his racing career. A victory at Le Mans is something you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. Reflecting on the history of the race and Rolex’s engagement in motorsport fills me with a mixture of pride and humility. They’re the perfect match, both striving for excellence through persistence, technological innovation and human endeavour,” he writes.
The defending champion, No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing, will compete in the Hypercar main event in an attempt to win a fifth consecutive race for the Japanese manufacturer. Alpine Elf Endurance Team, Toyota GR010 Hybrids, and Glickenhaus Racing make up the rest of the bunch. Sébastien Bourdais, Robert Kubica, and Felipe Nasr, as well as eight-time FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier, will compete in the LMP2 class. To date, Josh Pierson, 16, has won one World Endurance Championship event and is on pace to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the youngest driver ever. With a two-car entry in LMGTE Pro, Corvette Racing returns, while the all-female Iron Dames return to Circuit de le Sarthe for their fourth outing in the LMGTE Am class.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy was presented to the team that has travelled the most mileage on Sunday, June 12th, with each driver getting an Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona engraved with their name. Daytona’s legendary status, durability, and performance make it one of the most sought-after automobiles in the world.