Tag Archives: Racing

Horological Mythology: The Osmosis of Cool

In the world of watch collecting, one gets used to heady price tags and watching the those prices rise over the years. It’s logical, despite occasional anomalies like market corrections and bubbles, that desirable things go up in value over time. It equally adds up that in a time when wealth is more concentrated than it has been in decades, those who can afford to pay a lot for something can usually afford to pay a WHOLE LOT for something, and so dealers adjust their prices accordingly, and the rest of us have to pay up to keep up. C’est la vie.

But what in the world accounts for something like the $17.75 million we saw shelled out for Paul Newman’s own Rolex “Paul Newman” ref. 6239 Daytona at auction last week? The most paid for any watch ever. Theories abound, of course. The fact that a normal Rolex “Paul Newman” ref. 6239 Daytona is a somewhat rare and desirable watch in it’s own right is a good starting point. Add to that the sweet story about his wife gifting it to him, and Mr. Newman’s owning and wearing this particular watch throughout an exciting portion of his life (regularly racing cars and frequently seen in public generally being cooler and better looking than the rest of us), thus leading collectors in the 80’s to name the reference the “Paul Newman” in his honour, and we have a pretty solid explanation as to why this watch would be worth more than the “normal” Paul Newman. But a normal “Paul Newman” Daytona goes for about $200,000, so is the one that started it all really worth that much more, solely as an originator of a sect of the watch collecting world? I say no.

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Getting ready for the 2014 Rolex 24-Hours at Daytona

Tomorrow — Saturday, January the 25th — is the unofficial official start of big time motorsports in the New Year with the 52nd running of the 24-Hours at Daytona. It will also inaugurate the new IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship after a merger between the two formerly competing US road racing leagues, the American LeMans Series and Grand-Am. Daytona’s unique hybrid banked oval/infield road course (aka “Roval) will be the first test of professional and gentlemen drivers across the newly reorganized 4 classifications (in descending order of technical and performance level): Prototype (P); Prototype Challenge (PC); GT Le Mans (GTLM); and GT Daytona (GTD). As you can tell by these names if you’re familiar with the class structures of the old series, there seems to be an uneasy merger between the exacting specifications of the French organization which controls Le Mans, the ACO, and the more free wheeling Grand-Am regulations. It should be interesting to see how the tension between these two visions for sports car racing play out as this first United SportsCar Championship season evolves and the different cultures are integrated.

Delta Wing Racing's New Coupe

Delta Wing Racing’s New Coupe

Nonetheless, familiar top competitors will still be players in the new league with teams such as Chip Ganassi, Wayne Taylor, Bob Stallings’ Gainsco, Michael Shank, Starworks and Action Express. And world-reknowned sports car pilots will still be driving for them, such as the great Scott Pruett, Alex Gurney, Ollie Gavin, Antonio Garcia and superstar-in-the-making Jordan Taylor to name but a few. And of course many of the world’s high-performance automotive leaders will be competing, like Corvette, Ferrari, BMW, Porsche, Mazda, as well as expanded programs by Astin Martin, Audi and SRT Viper.

 

But the most important factor to get the new series off to a good start and hopefully capture the interest of an even greater portion of the American public will be the racing down there in Daytona tomorrow afternoon. The grueling 24-hours kicks off at 2pm Eastern and can be viewed pretty much continuously, albeit only across multiple platforms that may or not be available on your cable or satellite provider.

Here is the broadcast and Internet schedule for tomorrow’s 24-Hours at Daytona (via Auto Week)– let’s hope for good weather and an exciting and safe race for all!

Saturday, Jan. 25

2-4 p.m. ET on Fox

4-9 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2

Overnight (Jan. 25-26)

9 p.m.-7 a.m. ET on IMSA.com (includes live images, in-car cameras and announcers)

Sunday, Jan. 26

7 a.m.-3 p.m. on Fox Sports 1