The smell of warm rubber floats in the air; the tarmac still blackened by the frenetic pace of the competing cars. The fifth stage of the 2013 Federation Internationale de L'Automobile World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) comes to an end after 6 hours of competition during which strategy and luck played a major part.
The event attracted more than 33,000 visitors to Super Sportscar Weekend, which combined the FIA WEC and the American Le Mans Series. Alongside the addition of the Texan circuit to the FIA WEC schedule, September held another surprise in store for the American public: the return of TUDOR watches to the United States. Official timing partner of the FIA WEC since the beginning of 2013, TUDOR is the new unit of measurement for perfection in the American endurance motor sports world.
Conquest of the new world
The first circuit in the United States built specifically to host Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Circuit of the Americas will from now on fly the TUDOR standard following the FIA WEC debut on Sunday, 22 September. The trackﾒs cutting-edge design is the work of famous architect Hermann Tilke, who created Chinaﾒs impressive Shanghai International Circuit and breathed new life into iconic circuits such as Germany's Nurburgring and Japanﾒs Fuji Speedway. Practical, ergonomic and aesthetic, the work of the German engineer, himself a former racing-driver, proves an inherent understanding of motor sport; the same insight that inspires the TUDOR Grantour Chrono Fly-Back.
The architecture is a perfect reflection of the primary goal of automobile and horological engineers alike: to conceive the exceptional, to place emotion at the heart of the action. A prerogative offered to connoisseurs wearing the TUDOR Grantour Chrono Fly-Back; tailor-made and delivered without concession. The combination of black and red evokes sophistication and passion, elegance and power. American collectors of exclusive timepieces now have the opportunity to sport on their wrists the subtle blend of watch- making tradition and modernity.
The jewel of the desert
The latest of the worldﾒs motor sport venues, the superb Circuit of the Americas now hosts the north American round of the FIA WEC, which was previously located in Sebring, Florida. One of only five anti-clockwise circuits in the world, it has already gained great respect among professional racers. Many competitors have described it as one of the best-designed circuits in the championship.
Notably, the Circuit includes sections where cars reach peak speeds of 270km/h and according to Kevin Weeda, driver of the Lotus Praga #31, demanding tracks like this distinguish the elite from lesser competitors: ﾓHard work and discipline can help a driver improve his performance, but it is raw talent that makes the difference between victory and defeat.ﾔ The American racer believes that the never-ending quest for perfection measured in time, a value to which TUDOR has always remained faithful, is an essential element in any driverﾒs life: Driving at full speed on a racetrack is the most intense experience there is. Making a point of pursuing oneﾒs passion because nothing else matters.
Inspired by the high-octane atmosphere of sports car competition and designed to answer the demands of endurance racing, the TUDOR Grantour Chrono Fly-Back is a high precision tool. Displaying efficient functionality it comprises components designed to overcome every obstacle faced on the path to victory.
Strength through unity
Synergy between individuals working towards the same goal is undeniably at the heart of team competition. The ethos, so prevalent in motor sport, is also fundamental in high-end watch making. Both require careful preparation, flawless precision and total concentration; neither endurance racing nor the manufacture of TUDOR watches leave any room for mistakes.
Close collaboration is an essential element in the development of objects of passion. Thanks to the effort of countless craftsmen exceptional cars and watches have become eternal symbols of the victory of imagination over reason. As mediums of contemporary aspiration they represent intensely emotional experiences, modern interpretations of freethinking.
The object of passion
Closely related for more than a century, endurance motor sport and exceptional watches are today, more than ever, inseparable partners in mastering time. United by a common goal to revolutionize the perception of time through continued improvement to movement, the destiny of these two universes was sealed in 1911 with the launch of the first integrated dashboard-chronograph. This moment heralded the arrival of numerous great technological advances that would continue through the Roaring Twenties. By the dawn of the thirties, cars had established themselves within society irreversibly embracing modernity and seducing an ever-increasing public with their undeniable advantages. The following decades would witness further tremendous developments in motor sport and, all the while, celebrate the versatility of the watch, attracting technology enthusiasts, utilitarian minds and lovers of aesthetics alike.
The bond between two worlds that admire refinement, precision and elegance was also strengthened by the increasing adoption of the the wristwatch. Tachymeter-integrated models, popularized by racing drivers, enable immediate measurement of performance. This type of timepiece, like the flowing curves of a racing machine, is soon considered to reflect the taste and character of their owners. The concept of a time-measurement tool as representing a way of life ignites a major change in the conception of precision mechanisms.
The 1950s supported more technological advances within the motor industry, and laid the foundations for the next decade to go down in history as the Golden Age of motor racing. In turn, the period offered a tantalizing glimpse into the world of mechanical watch making. Accuracy in time measurement grew dramatically in importance as industrial development led to increased performance. Time was democratized as chronographs enabled drivers and the general public alike to measure the movement of time.
Art and practice
Developed to deliver exciting action, the Circuit of the Americas did not disappoint furnishing a race with all the panache expected. After reigning unchallenged during the first hours of competition, the Audi Sport Team Joest racing stable won the FIA WEC trophy following a hard-fought second half of the race. Team Joest finally outpaced their biggest opponent, Toyota Racing, by 23 seconds after an intense neck and neck confrontation. The winning drivers - Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Allan McNish secured their third victory in the FIA WEC and were rewarded with a TUDOR Grantour Chrono Fly-Back. Equipped with a 42mm stainless steel case, the watch features a Fly-Back pusher at 4 oﾒclock enabling the instant restart of the chronograph.
Steve Sexton, President of the Circuit of the Americas, expressed great satisfaction with the FIA WEC's debut in Texas: ﾓThe partnership between TUDOR and the FIA WEC shows how both these exceptional institutions are engaged in promoting a project entirely dedicated to offering the best of modern technology to a public sharing the similar demands for exclusivity and qualityﾔ. From 2014, TUDOR will increase its engagement. On 12 September, the brand was announced as title sponsor and official timepiece for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship organized by the International Motor Sport Association in the US, and which embraces two GT (Grand Turismo) categories and two classes of prototypes.
The eighth and concluding round of the FIA WEC will be held in Bahrain on 30 November 2013, following the penultimate race in Shanghai earlier in the same month. This last fixture will offer an opportunity to explore the many attributes of the impressive Bahrain International Circuit as teams prepare for the final challenge ahead of the overall prize giving for the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship.