In 2018, IWC Schaffhausen founded a motorsport team, becoming the first watch brand to compete in classic car races with its own team and car. Since then, the IWC Racing Team has contested select historic racing events in its chosen car: The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing”.
One of the most iconic sports cars ever built, the “Gullwing” dates back to the time when IWC’s watchmakers designed the first Ingenieur. With its characteristic doors reminiscent of a seagull’s wings, it was manufactured by Daimler-Benz between 1954 and 1957 as a road ready version of the 300 SL racing car. The superb vehicle boasts 215 hp and a top speed of 250 km/h, but its attraction goes far beyond performance. Motor racing enthusiasts are very passionate about the “Gullwing”, and it perfectly embodies IWC’s core values of style, quality, originality and outstanding craftsmanship.
To date, racing legends David Coulthard, Karl Wendlinger and Bernd Schneider have been among those to take turns in the “Gullwing” cockpit. The IWC Racing Team has appeared several times at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, competing in various races on the renowned Goodwood Motor Circuit. In 2019, David Coulthard took first place in the Tony Gaze Trophy race at the event. The team also participated in the 2019 Arosa ClassicCar, a famous mountain race set in the breath-taking landscape of the Swiss Alps. A total of 162 drivers participated in the event, with 27,000 spectators watching the action.
In 2020, the IWC Racing Team moved into its new home at the all-new flagship boutique on the ‘home straight’ of Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse. The new boutique is furnished in the style of ‘IWC Racing Works’. Using a rich blend of motorsport memorabilia, engineering artefacts and unique timepieces, it tells the story of the long-standing connection between IWC and the world of motorsport. The boutique’s centrepiece is the IWC Racing “Gullwing”.
In October 2021, the IWC Racing team made its return to the Goodwood Members’ Meeting. In her first appearance for the team, Austrian racing driver Laura Kraihamer took part in the Stirling Moss Trophy. IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr and other members of the IWC family also connected virtually with guests at IWC’s manufacturing center in Schaffhausen, turning the 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting into a hybrid event.
Born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1991, Laura Kraihamer caught the racing bug at a young age from her older brother Dominik, who used to drive in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Beginning her career in the typical style, Kraihamer spent four years racing karts professionally before moving to the internal KTM series in 2012. Winning the KTM X-BOW Battle Endurance Championship in her first two seasons, she also landed a Rijeka test run. In 2016, she was named vice-champion in her rookie drive in the GT4 European Series in Reiter Young Stars before securing a further two podiums in 2017. A third season of GT4 combined with appearances at several of 2018’s 24-hour events, including those at the Nordschleife and Barcelona’s CREVENTIC series, in which she finished second in her class. In 2019, Kraihamer switched to ADAC GT4 Germany, claiming a win and two further podiums from 12 races. Last season, she competed in five different international series for KTM, including DTM Trophy races, Nürburgring 24 Hours races and Nürburgring Long Distance Series events, where she secured a podium. Alongside driving in a second DTM Trophy season this year, the 29-year-old is also part of KTM’s car development and engineering team, playing a pivotal role in developing 2021’s new KTM X-BOW GTX. Kraihamer joined the IWC racing family in 2021. She made her debut for the IWC Racing Team at the occasion of the 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting. At the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing”, Kraihamer raced in the Stirling Moss Trophy.
It’s Performance O’clock
AMG and IWC – three letters which embody a very special way of life and represent technical excellence, exclusivity, precision and passion for engineering throughout the world.
Ready for takeoff with George Russell
In the latest episode of #PartnersInTime, meet @georgerussell63, a young talented automotive racing driver from Great Britain who is looking forward to driving his first regular season as an official pilot of the @mercedesamgf1 team. Make sure to listen to this episode if you want to know which challenges Russell had to face, how he gets ready for a race and which has been his favorite car so far.
Watch for the Team
IWC unveils the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Edition “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One™ Team”. Learn more about the first official team watch here.