SUNNYVALE, Calif. – CrowdStrike Racing opened its season of SRO Motorsports America competition in stellar style with four weekend victories in six races at its home racetrack of Sonoma Raceway.
CrowdStrike drivers George Kurtz and Colin Braun scored a victory in the premier Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS series in the second of two 90-minute races in the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3. It was their fourth victory together in the last 10 races dating back to June.
The win was one of three on the weekend for Kurtz, who swept both rounds of the new GT America Powered by AWS. CrowdStrike Racing’s Kevin Boehm also won during his debut in the TC category of the Touring Car America Powered by Skip Barber Racing Schools.
Victories in three different categories on the weekend set a new standard for CrowdStrike Racing, which faced plenty of adversaries throughout the weekend – both in the form of competitors and in-race circumstances. But all came away with the best weekend in program history.
It’s not dissimilar to how CrowdStrike allows its customers to stay resilient in the rapidly evolving world of cybersecurity. In that sense, CrowdStrike teams up with its customers with one goal: stopping breaches. Success means the groups “Win as One.”
The Sonoma weekend marked the beginning of CrowdStrike’s fourth season of commercial participation in SRO America. As the Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider for Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS, CrowdStrike has a platform to showcase its selection of security tools in a highly coveted environment.
CrowdStrike supplies its award-winning CrowdStrike Falcon® platform to all SRO worldwide entities, equipping them with world-class endpoint and cloud workload protection for its resources and assets. The Falcon is also the dominant feature on all CrowdStrike Racing entries in SRO America competition, another point of leverage that racing provides to tell the CrowdStrike story.
THE EVENT EXPERIENCE
The Sonoma weekend continued the commercial link-up between CrowdStrike and AWS, which again are combining to host their popular CXO summits in 2021, though events without spectators are hosted virtually. From Sonoma, an invited group of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) – led by CrowdStrike president Shawn Henry and Angelo Comazzetto, principal of AWS’ Office of the CISO – discussed a number of online threats and adversaries that cybersecurity companies face on a daily basis.
It is that type of leadership that led SRO Motorsports America to name CrowdStrike as Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider for Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. With its suite of Internet and cloud security tools – including the award-winning Falcon platform – CrowdStrike and SRO are set to “Win As One” throughout the season against online threats.
That expertise pairs with that of AWS, which is the Global Official Cloud Provider, Global Official Machine Learning Provider and Global Technology Provider of SRO Motorsports. That involvement elevates AWS to a unique position to help SRO with logistics, data collection and cloud storage – the latter a key team-up area for AWS and CrowdStrike.
Among the benefits to fans is the unique “Race Vision” program, powered by AWS. It allows the series to display performance data from cars on the track in the form of informational graphics to fans on SRO America’s event live streams or television broadcasts on CBS Sports Network. At Sonoma, fans were able to track the highest straight-line and cornering speeds in each race throughout the weekend.
GT WORLD CHALLENGE
On the racetrack, Kurtz and Braun won Sunday’s round of Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS in dominating fashion. Braun qualified the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 on pole position as he and Kurtz went flag-to-flag in the race’s Pro-Am category.
"It feels great,” Kurtz said. “The car was great today, and the DXDT team did a great job of getting the CrowdStrike Mercedes-AMG ready. We put the effort in. We had the pace from the preparation we did in the offseason. Colin took it from the start and put me in a great spot to succeed."
Braun led by as much as 2.7 seconds in his 50-minute run ahead of the race’s mandatory pit stop and driver change. With the gap down to less than a second at the pit stop, the No. 04 DXDT crew executed a perfect pit stop to send Kurtz back out on the track in first place.
“Today, it was all about good pace from the car,” Braun said. “I got a good start, we got George in there, he pulled a big gap, and life was pretty good. I'm really happy for CrowdStrike. We got a home win and had a super-fast Mercedes-AMG all weekend. You can't complain about that."
Saturday’s opening GT World Challenge America round began with promise as Kurtz began second in the Pro-Am category. Unfortunately for he and Braun, the No. 04 Mercedes-AMG was hit from behind and spun off-track on the opening lap. Kurtz lost a lap to the field as a result and drove without issue until the mandatory pit stop and driver change at the 49-minute mark.
Braun entered the race in fifth place but still nearly a lap down to the class leader, but a full-course caution period brought the No. 04 Mercedes-AMG back up to the lead pack. Braun picked up a spot to his eventual finishing position of fourth.
After the first weekend, Kurtz and Braun stand second in championship points.
“On a whole, I'm really proud of the CrowdStrike/DXDT guys,” Braun said. “They had a lot of ups and downs this weekend, and certainly they kept working and working. We had a fast car all along. I was really proud yesterday of the effort. It was a big battle all race and I was happy everyone stuck through it. The result we got in the end was pretty impressive.”
One of the keys to the successes of the CrowdStrike Racing programs at Sonoma were the contributions from Operation Motorsport beneficiaries. A not-for-profit, OpMo provides a chance for veterans to use their skill sets in a variety of areas including paddock operations, car and tire prep, marketing, social media and other key areas that are part of a racing program.
For the Sonoma weekend, CrowdStrike Racing hosted four service members as part of its ranks. Staff Sgt. William Babineau (Ret.) and Staff Sgt. Katrina Williams were part of the effort on the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. In TC America, Sgt Cody Reinecker (Ret.) and OpMo newcomer Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.) Craig Neri each helped to crew Boehm’s No. 9 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT HPD Civic Type R TC.
It continued a proud tradition of CrowdStrike supporting veterans and the Operation Motorsport program. Two OpMo beneficiaries were part of Boehm’s TCA championship campaign in 2020. CrowdStrike also is a proud part of American Corporate Partners (ACP), which provides CrowdStrike mentors for service members looking to transition to the private sector.
In addition, CrowdStrike is a partner with HireMilitary to provide meaningful internship experiences to service members exiting the military via the DoD SkillBridge program.
CrowdStrike Racing’s next GT World Challenge race weekend is April 30-May 2 at Circuit of The Americas near Austin, Texas. Find the complete schedule, news, and more at https://www.crowdstrikeracing.com.