The Rolex 24 At Daytona® (ROLEX 24) in the US, promoted by the International Speedway Corporation (ISC), is one of the biggest and most famous and prestigious 24hr sports car races in the world. Despite this few European fans and racers attend the event compared to the Le Mans 24hr race in France where up to 80,000 fans travel from the UK every year.
Sunoco race fuels (SUNOCO), manufactured in Marcus Hook in Pennsylvania, are the official fuel of NASCAR and SUNOCO has, since December 2003, been represented in Europe and in the Middle East by the Anglo American Oil Company Ltd (AAOC).
AAOC is the official fuel supplier for over 20 championships in Europe and distributes SUNOCO race fuels in Europe and in the Middle East through exclusive distributors for each country. In the UK, however, AAOC distributes and markets SUNOCO directly.
The Rolex 24 At Daytona in the US, promoted by the Daytona International Speedway, is one of the biggest and most famous and prestigious 24hr sports car races in the world. At an initial discussion at the Park Lane NASCAR cocktail party, in early autumn 2008, a suggestion was made by Jim France, Vice Chairman/Executive Vice President for NASCAR and Chairman/CEO of the ISC, to Anders Hildebrand, Managing Director of AAOC, to set up a Sunoco/Rolex 24 end of the year prize. The idea behind this initiative was to provide a race seat in the Rolex 24 in a Daytona Prototype, whilst increasing awareness of the GRAND-AM racing (now known as IMSA). AAOC would use this prize to promote Sunoco race fuels in Europe and at the same time promote the Rolex 24 At Daytona to the series and championships for which Sunoco is the official fuel supplier in Europe. The series and championships involved in this prize should only be ones where the quality of the drivers matches the requirements needed to compete at the Rolex 24. Thus was born the Sunoco Daytona Challenge, arguably the most valuable motorsport prize available in UK motorsport.
This partnership developed further in 2014, with Whelen Engineering now funding the seat, and is now called the Sunoco Whelen Challenge. This will not only offer a race seat for the winner, which we can now offer details of from the start of season, but will also enable us to promote the Whelen brand throughout the UK and Europe throughout the entire year.
To give more racers the opportunity to race at Daytona, 2011 saw Anglo American Oil Company launch the Sunoco GRAND-AM 200 Challenge which is now known as Sunoco 240 Challenge, where the ultimate prize is a race-seat in the GS class BMW Endurance 4-hour race at the same race weekend as the Rolex 24 At Daytona.