Cosmograph Daytona.
Cosmograph Daytona.
Image: Supplied

No 4511 South Atlantic Avenue, Ponce Inlet, Florida is where you will find Racing’s North Turn beachside bar and racing museum. This mecca for motor racing fans is all that remains on the location of the original Daytona Beach race, which began in 1936. Breaking for World War II, the races took place on the beach in front of the restaurant until 1958 when NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) decided to relocate to a 4km permanent over track just 25km away at the new Daytona International Speedway.

The original beach course started at the North Turn on the pavement of highway A1A (Atlantic Ave) and went south 3.2km on the A1A parallel to the ocean to the end of the road where drivers accessed the sand at the Beach Street approach, aka the South Turn, with 3.2km back on the sand. The 805km Daytona 500 is the direct successor to the beach road course and was first held at the new track in 1959. The Daytona 500 takes place on February 20 this year.

The inaugural edition of the historic 24-hour endurance race at the Daytona International Speedway took place in 1962. It was initially a three-hour contest but soon became the 24-hour race of today. This weekend, take your seats and get your chronographs ready for some exhilarating action at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Dayton Beach.
Dayton Beach.
Image: Supplied

This year also marks the diamond jubilee of the sport’s most fabled events taking place at the super Speedway and Rolex’s 30th anniversary as title sponsor of this epic super-car meet. From Saturday 29 to Sunday 30, an impressive line-up of 61 cars compete in the annual race against the clock. In a year of milestones, Rolex also observes the “King of Speed”, Sir Malcolm Campbell’s five World Land Speed Records set at Daytona Beach, the fastest in 1935 behind the wheel of Bluebird with a Rolex Oyster on his wrist.

Daytona.
Daytona.
Image: Supplied

The 40mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona is one of the most iconic and coveted watches – the Oystersteel version even more so. Created in 1963 as the ultimate timer for professional racing drivers, today it is equipped with their in-house calibre 4130, which features an automatic mechanism first patented by Rolex in 1931 as the Perpetual rotor.

For more information on the Rolex 24 at Daytona, visit IMSA, a division of NASCAR. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, from R224,700, rolex.com or Rolex Watch Co SA 011 784 9230 

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