The Rolex 24 At Daytona is one of the biggest and most famous and prestigious 24-hour 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 the Anglo American Oil Company (AAOC), to set up a Sunoco/Rolex 24 end of the year prize.
Anders Hildebrand, Managing Director of the Anglo American Oil Company, congratulates 2018 Sunoco Challenge victor and BRDC British Formula 3 Champion Linus Lundqvist
The idea behind this initiative was to provide a race seat in the Rolex 24 in a Daytona Prototype, whilst increasing awareness of IMSA racing. AAOC would use this prize to promote not only Sunoco race fuels in Europe but also 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 Challenge, arguably the most valuable motorsport prize available in UK motorsport.
This partnership developed further in 2014, with Sonny Whelen and his Whelen Engineering Company now funding the Sunoco Whelen Challenge seat. This will not only offer a race drive for the winner, but will also enable AAOC to promote the Whelen brand throughout the UK and Europe throughout the entire year.
Felipe Nasr races past the Sunoco sign in the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona, en route to third place.
To give more racers the opportunity to race at Daytona, in 2011 AAOC launched the Sunoco 240 Challenge, where the ultimate prize is a race-seat in the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge At Daytona, which takes place the day before the Rolex 24 .
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.