The world’s greatest and most renowned endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, turned 100 this year, and the celebrations kicked off with an annual ode to motorsport tradition on the Monterey Peninsula. Rolex has been a proud sponsor of car events in California since 1997, including this iconic 24-hour race, for over 20 years. The Swiss watchmaker supports events like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, and the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex out of a desire to honor the past while preparing for the future.
A PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE®
Classic cars from the turn of the century to the present day presented a dazzling display on the greens of the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links®, where Rolex superstars Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods have strolled. The exquisite Talbot-Lago Grand Sports and Lincolns drew the attention of the well-dressed, cultured crowds. The 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo won this year’s Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, widely considered one of the top honors in the automobile industry. The winner was awarded a custom-engraved Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 in recognition of the time and effort put into displaying this one-of-a-kind vehicle.
Following the prize-giving ceremony, owner Lee R. Anderson Sr. says: “We’re overwhelmed, it’s such a joy to win at Pebble. It has taken many years to restore this car and to receive a Rolex watch is wonderful, everything here is outstanding.”
The Centenary Trophy was presented on the iconic Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® awards ramp on Saturday, 20 August, setting the tone for the whole event, which was themed around the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It has continued until the present day, with two separate Le Mans classes playing a role on the course and reviving incredible tales of racing from the past century. Rolex Testimonee and nine-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Tom Kristensen was an Honorary Judge at the Concours and proudly reflects: “It’s always a privilege to come to Pebble Beach. I’m honored to be involved in the celebrations of Le Mans as we build to 2023 and to also help present the unique Centenary Trophy yesterday. There is no doubt that this trophy is going to be incredibly sought-after next year; the race really is on for the 100th anniversary.”
ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPORTS REUNION
From Wednesday, August 17th, through Saturday, August 20th, the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca rang with the roar of classic Le Mans cars competing in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. All the original race cars that ever competed in this legendary event were lined up in a row, and it was a sight to behold. The Paddock was filled with legendary winners for fans to gawk at, such as the 1964 Ferrari 250 LM, the 1966 Ford GT40, and Kristensen’s winning 2005 Audi R8 LMP1.
As Grand Marshal of the 2022 Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion, Kristensen fulfilled his duties while soaking up the incredible atmosphere around the track. He says: “I’m really proud to have been involved in this year’s event, and it’s been lovely to meet all the fans. I’ve rarely seen so many historic Le Mans cars together and to be reunited with some of my own race-winning cars is very poignant. This week, more than ever, I’ve felt Rolex’s exceptional presence in motorsport – with the crossover of automotive events and endurance racing – and appreciated the brand’s respect for the past and recognition of our sport’s exciting future.”
THE QUAIL, A MOTORSPORTS GATHERING On Friday 19 August, the Quail Lodge & Golf
The club celebrated historic automobiles alongside future technologies, with cars from across the decades side-by-side during this picturesque garden party. The Swiss watchmaker has partnered with The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering as the Official Timepiece since 2005, and this year welcomed the 1956 Jaguar D-Type into the Rolex Circle of Champions as the winning car.
Reflecting on the day, Jenson Button, the 2009 FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion, who recently joined the Rolex family of Testimonees, says: “The Quail is a special occasion. This year it’s been particularly wonderful, seeing everyone come together to celebrate such a variety of beautiful cars, both old and new. As a racing driver, I love Rolex’s deep-rooted connection to this event and motorsport more generally, it really is a relationship which stands the test of time.”
PEBBLE BEACH TOUR D’ELEGANCE® PRESENTED BY ROLEX
On Thursday, August 18th, a large and supportive audience lined Portola Road to see off the 190 competitors in the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® presented by Rolex. The motorcade took a new, beautiful route that took them through the 17-Mile Drive and along the coast to Big Sur before looping back around to the finish line at Pebble Beach. The wide variety of vehicles on display this year proved the industry’s prowess in motion, and they will be enjoyed by future generations.
Rolex and the automotive industry both play pivotal roles in the creation of ground-breaking expertise and maintain positions at the vanguard of innovation on the wrist, the track, and beyond in their shared pursuit of perfection. A five-day celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will be the highlight of next year’s motorsports calendar, was held in California. From the pinnacle of automotive achievement on the Monterey Peninsula to the world’s oldest twice-around-the-clock race, Rolex has stood by these illustrious events as they have evolved and pushed the envelope of what is possible.