The blindingly fast Mercedes-AMG GT3, based on the badass Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe, just slaughtered the competition in the GT Daytona (GTD) class at the epic Rolex 24 At Daytona race. The victory marks the first Rolex 24 At Daytona win for the AMG GT3 car, which boasts 550 hp thanks to its 6.3-liter V8 engine developed at Mercedes-AMG headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany.
The winning car was the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, and co-drivers Russell Ward, Indy Dontje, Philip Ellis, and Maro Engel were all awarded specially engraved two-tone Rolex Daytona chronographs in stainless steel and 18 ct. yellow gold.
The watch has a retail price of $18,800, but the prize watches are worth much more due to both the scarcity of Daytona models and the fact that only Daytona class-winning drivers get them. In endurance racing, which is heavily sponsored by Rolex, "winning the watch" as it's known is the ultimate honor.
The second-place car in the GTD class of the grueling 24-hour endurance race was also a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3. The first and second place Benzes beat out the likes of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Porsche 911 GT3 R, Ferrari 488 GT3, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, Audi R8 LMS GT3, and BMW M6 GT3, putting a feather in the cap for Mercedes and AMG over the more expensive marques.
Next up for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams and their GT3 cars in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, of which Daytona is a part, is the 12 Hours of Sebring, taking place March 17–20, at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. Those who enjoy betting on sports for entertainment might want to take a closer look, as should anyone with a thing for fast cars and competitive racing.
Elsewhere at Daytona, Corvette Racing won the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, while the Acura ARX-05 won the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class, in part thanks to a devastating tire puncture that plagued the odds-on favorite Cadillac team late in the race.