Driver George Kurtz pulls double duty in the GT America powered by AWS and Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series. Kurtz is a formidable opponent for those who cross him, but his winning ways have taken time to build and progress.
Kurtz has followed a natural progression of accomplishment in his racing career. His passion in the sport has even become a trademark of the company he founded, CrowdStrike, and is integral to the global cybersecurity leader’s marketing program. Growing up, Kurtz watched open-wheel racing and recalls falling in love with the machinery and staying up late to watch Mario Andretti race the likes of Laguna Seca.
“I started racing around 2007. I was doing track days and racing radicals,” Kurtz said. “I was really enjoying it. Then I bought a car after feeling like I was good enough. I started to race nationally at some of the better race tracks. I kept graduating up the ladder to what I now race, GT3.
“I always loved racing. I was never in a position to do it as a kid, but I did move into a position to do so as an adult. It’s now become synonymous with CrowdStrike, from Formula 1 to CrowdStrike Racing. From a company-building perspective, it's been a successful venture. It’s been fun to weave the reach of motorsports into my business. It's what got us started on this course.”
The CrowdStrike Racing by Riley team and Kurtz have already racked up impressive accolades in 2023. In SRO America competition, they have two wins and four podium finishes under their belt. This comes in part to the work he and teammate Colin Braun have put in over the years. The duo has nearly a decade of effort behind what is seen on track today.
Both highs and lows have come with all the hard work, and Kurtz recalls his ‘welcome to racing’ moment earlier this year that felt more like a gut punch than a hospitable hello.
“Almost winning Daytona this year was tough, especially when you find out you lost by fractions of a second,” Kurtz said. “We were so close. It felt like a dream come true. You put so much effort into it and the team. The program came together late in the season, in about eight weeks, but we went out there and put the car in first.
“We had a great race, and then on the last lap we got passed in the last turn. It puts the highs and lows into perspective. You’re not always in a position to win Daytona, so now you’re all the hungrier for it.”
His near miss is a reminder of the hardships that befall many teams, regardless of execution. However, Kurtz does have a couple of big moments at a 24-hour race under his belt. The 24 Hours of SPA is now the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of SPA. The storied event will now be a home race for Kurtz as CrowdStrike becomes the title sponsor just a year after taking home a win at Spa Francorchamps.
“It was an amazing win when you look at GT racing. That race really is the pinnacle of GT racing in our class. It all came together,” Kurtz said. “We faced all sorts of adversity in that race. We got hit in the pits coming into our box. So, we made a comeback from being down a few laps. We got some luck on a few yellows. The accomplishment is massive. Now we’re the title sponsor.”
Looking forward, Kurtz has another goal in his sights; The 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“The goal is to win Le Mans at the 100th anniversary,” Kurtz said. “We won the GTA Championship last year in SRO. The PRO-AM Championship here in the US has eluded us, so I’d like to win that as well.”
Kurtz and the SRO Motorsports America program are headed south to Austin, Texas. Circuit of The Americas hosts the third calendar event of the 2023 season. Fans can join in the fun by purchasing tickets for the event taking place Friday, May 19, through Sunday, May 21 now. Check out ticket bundles here.