The last race in the “Grand American Champions Weekend” (Oct. 31-Nov. 2, Daytona Beach, Fla.) of the Grand Am sports car racing series was a triumph for the Girard-Perregaux / Scuderia Ferrari of Washington (SFoW) team.
The SFoW team, driving a Ferrari 360 GT, won the GT (“Grand Touring”) race and also tied for the GT Drivers championship. The win also clinched the GT Team Championship as well as the GT Manufacturers Championship for Ferrari. To complete the sweep, SFoW team drivers Brent Martini and Curt Wagner also tied the record for five consecutive GT wins.
Swiss luxury watch brand Girard-Perregaux has been part of the Scuderia Ferrari of Washington team from the beginning—and part of its success as well. “When Ferrari of Washington formed this team in 2002, we saw a lot of potential,” says Ron Jackson, president of Girard-Perregaux USA. “Girard-Perregaux has the exclusive license for Ferrari watches, and this team presented a unique opportunity. We created a special chronograph, which we felt conveyed the spirit and excitement of the Ferrari 360 GT racer, and then used a portion of the proceeds from sales of that watch to sponsor the team.”
For the watch brand, “This is far more than simply a racing sponsorship,” notes Jackson. “For example, Cort Wagner and the 360 GT appeared at the 2002 Concorso Italiano, a major Ferrari event. Ferrari enthusiasts—and those are our customers—were able to get up close to Cort and the Ferrari, and to be a part of the program. That excitement generated watch sales.”