Start of the Daytona Prototype race (Photo by Tom O’Neal for Rolex)

Few words instantly evoke the image of a specific watch than “Daytona” perhaps even amongst people unaware of the actual event the watch (Rolex Cosmograph Daytona) was originally named for. We are reminded of this again as dig into the story of finale of the 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, Florida, USA. Of course the famous Swiss watch brand is the title sponsor and official timekeeper of the race so it gets a lot of exposure, as the pictures show.

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Photo by Stephan Cooper for Rolex)

As we all know by now, Chip Ganassi Racing’s #01 BMW/Riley won the Daytona Prototype class, with Juan Pablo Montoya doing the final stint of the 24-hour race. In the GT class, the #28 Audi R8 of Audi Sport Customer Racing AJR went top while the #16 Porsche Cayman of Napleton Racing closed out the competition in the GX class.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona with precious stones from 2012

In an interesting counterpoint of sorts, Rolex recently announced its official role in Formula One, which is of course an entirely different sort of race to Daytona. Rolex is also the title sponsor of the upcoming 2013 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix (14-17 March). In practice, this means that the Melbourne race will be called the “Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.” Could this herald even more title sponsorships for individual Formula One grand prix’s? Stay tuned for updates. 

Audi Sport Customer Racing AJR (Photo by Stephan Cooper for Rolex)

Napleton Racing wins inaugural race for the new GX class (Photo by Stephan Cooper for Rolex)

Overall winners – Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Photo by Stephan Cooper for Rolex)

Rolex