Need for Speed

Taking a cue from its parent company, Tudor enters the world of motor sports sponsorship.

BY DAVID A. ROSE

Anyone who knows anything about motor sports will know and appreciate the contribution Rolex has made over the years. Rolex is the official timepiece at the Sebring International Raceway and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, official timepiece at The 24 Hours of Le Mans, and title sponsor of the annual Rolex 24 at Daytona. And in 2013, the brand made history when it became the global partner and official timepiece of Formula 1, the pinnacle of motor sports.

51st Rolex 24 at Daytona, Photo By Tom O'Neal Courtesy of Rolex

Rolex also made headlines last year for another reason: the announcement that it would re-launch its storied Tudor brand in the U.S., and promote it as the title partner for the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex’s founder, registered the name “The Tudor” in 1926 to honor the Tudor period in England. He established Montres Tudor SA in 1946 with the idea of offering the quality of Rolex timepieces at a lower price. Today, though Tudor is part of the Rolex Group, it is operated separately and continues to uphold its philosophy of affordable luxury.

Tudor Grantour Chrono Fly-Back

To celebrate its colorful history, Tudor has introduced the Heritage Collection, featuring updated versions of iconic pieces like the Tudor Heritage Chrono and the Tudor Heritage Advisor. The Tudor United SportsCar Championship was formed by the merging of two rival U.S. events: the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series. The two had been competing for fans, sponsors, teams and drivers since 1999, but as a single series they have now created one of the most exciting sports car races in the world. “For years Tudor has been inspired by motor sports,” says brand manager Russell Kelly. “This new partnership allows us to elevate our commitment to sports car racing. This is the perfect alignment between partners dedicated to performance and precision.” International sports car racing brings together some of the most sophisticated machinery in existence with the best drivers in the world.

Unlike other motor sports races, which run for a specific number of miles or laps, sports car series are run for three, six, 12 and 24 hours. Each car must utilize a minimum of two drivers for the shorter races, and can use up to five drivers per car for 24- hour events. They race in all weather conditions and the pace remains intense throughout the entire event. With the merger of the two series for 2014, there is no doubt that the Tudor United SportsCar Championship will present race fans in North America with the most exciting racing they’ve ever seen, while allowing watch lovers to become reacquainted with the luxury, quality and sophistication of the Tudor brand.

 

2014 TUDOR UNITED SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP UPCOMING RACE SCHEDULE

May 31 – Detroit Belle Isle
June 7 – Kansas Speedway
June 29 – Watkins Glen International
July 13 – Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
July 25 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
August 10 – Road America
August 24 – Virginia International Raceway