Ul­ti­mate Test Of Man & Ma­chine

2017 Rolex 24 at DAY­TONA race re­port

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - SCENE -

Rolex’s con­nec­tion to Day­tona dates back to the early 20th cen­tury. Day­tona Beach is a city on Florida’s At­lantic coast and is world renowned for host­ing iconic NASCAR races. The long, flat and firm Day­tona Beach played host to 14 land speed records in the early 20th cen­tury, five of which were set by Sir Mal­colm Campbell, in­clud­ing his fastest of­fi­cial record of 276mph in 1935 at the wheel of his mighty Blue­bird with a Rolex on his wrist. The part­ner­ship was formed in 1992 and Rolex be­came the Of­fi­cial Time­piece and Ti­tle Spon­sor of the 24-hour Day­tona clas­sic, fur­ther strength­en­ing the link be­tween the race and the Rolex Oys­ter Per­pet­ual Cos­mo­graph Day­tona watch.

The 25th year of part­ner­ship sees No. 10 Kon­ica Mi­nolta Cadil­lac Dpi-V.R win­ning the 55th edition of the Rolex 24 At DAY­TONA, com­plet­ing 659 laps of the fa­mous Day­tona International

Speedway. Ricky Taylor took the che­quered flag first af­ter a tax­ing 24 hours en­sur­ing that his team­mates, Jordan Taylor, Max An­gelelli and NASCAR leg­end, Jeff Gor­don, and him­self were awarded the Rolex 24 At DAY­TONA tro­phy and a cus­tomised Rolex Oys­ter Per­pet­ual Cos­mo­graph Day­tona. This is one rare mo­tor sport event in the world that tests the true lim­its of man and ma­chine against the clock.

Ev­ery sec­ond counts, and Ricky Taylor truly demon­strated the mean­ing of it: “Af­ter an in­tense race in tough con­di­tions, it is such a re­lief to stand in Vic­tory Lane as winners of ‘The Rolex’. We take part in this race with the dream of win­ning the 24-hour marathon but also of one day putting a Rolex Day­tona on our wrists. It re­ally is the ul­ti­mate re­ward in mo­tor sport and a re­minder of our suc­cess. I’m very proud to be added to the ac­com­plished list of Rolex 24 At Day­tona winners.”

Hurley Hay­wood, five-time win­ner of the Rolex 24 At DAY­TONA, waved the green flag at 14:30 lo­cal time on Saturday, 28 Jan­uary, of­fi­cially mark­ing the start of Amer­ica’s fa­mous race.

The Cadil­lac Pro­to­type trio of the #31 Whe­len En­gi­neer­ing Rac­ing, #10 and #5 Mus­tang Sam­pling Rac­ing set the pace at the start be­fore a favourite #31 suf­fered steer­ing is­sues at the eighth hour. As night falls, rain be­gan and the weather con­di­tions made the track treach­er­ous. Even as Sunday morn­ing crept in, ex­treme weather con­di­tions ex­tended the race by twohour for safety car pe­ri­ods.

The fi­nal league of a race is al­ways the most ex­cit­ing and this is no dif­fer­ent. Count­ing down the fi­nal min­utes on the Rolex clock, the race headed for a thrilling bat­tle as lead­ing Cadil­lacs #10 and #5 took the lead. Through­out the 24 hours, #10 suc­cess­fully with­stood the chal­lenges and won the ri­vals in term of skill and en­durance. It took the che­quered flag by a mere 0.671 sec­onds from its sis­ter car.

Hurley Hay­wood, one of the great­est en­durance rac­ing driv­ers of all time said,

“This Rolex 24 has been one of the most chal­leng­ing races we have seen here in Day­tona, which makes the win even more re­ward­ing. Rac­ing for 24 hours puts ex­treme de­mand on both teams and driv­ers and pushes them to the ab­so­lute limit, so there is no ques­tion today that the race winners have earned their spe­cial­ity en­graved Rolex Day­tona watch – the ex­pe­ri­ence is some­thing that stays with a driver for­ever.”

#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Rac­ing took the win­ning spot in a com­pet­i­tive GT Le

Mans class hav­ing bat­tled with a close

#911 Porsche GT Team while hold­ing off

#62 Risi Com­pe­tizione. #38 Per­for­mance

Tech Mo­tor­sports emerged vic­tory in the Pro­to­type Chal­lenge (PC) ti­tle and #28 Ale­gra Mo­tor­sports the GT Day­tona (GTD) class.

Only 41 of 55 race starters made it to the fin­ish, which proves the pun­ish­ing na­ture of the two-lap test of the clock. This 3.56-mile cir­cuit de­mands a unique com­bi­na­tion of re­silience, skill and aware­ness, as well as re­li­a­bil­ity and per­for­mance, prov­ing that ev­ery­one who fin­ishes af­ter 24 hours is a win­ner too.

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