A Week to Remember for CrowdStrike at Spa!
- Leading cybersecurity firm named title sponsor for Spa 24 Hours in 2023
- George Kurtz, SPS automotive claim Bronze Cup win in No. 20 Mercedes-AMG GT3
- First-class hospitality and CXO programs in CrowdStrike’s first European activation
SPA, Belgium (August 4, 2022) – Both CrowdStrike and CrowdStrike Racing delivered strong performances at this year’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa Protected by CrowdStrike this past weekend.
There was success for CrowdStrike on and off the famed Belgian racetrack. Coming into the race, the big news was an announcement of CrowdStrike becoming the title sponsor of the world’s premier event for GT3 cars, which in 2023 will be known as the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa – part of SRO Motorsports and its Intercontinental GT Challenge.
It’s the latest high-profile involvement in motorsports for CrowdStrike, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity and cloud protection providers. The move to title sponsor status of the Spa 24 Hours goes hand-in-hand with CrowdStrike’s already-extensive involvement in SRO Motorsports, where the company serves as Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider.
“Our relationship with SRO Motorsports has been a great one for many years,” said George Kurtz, co-founder and CEO of CrowdStrike. “Our motorsports sponsorship program started in SRO and has generated a lot of business and exposure for us. When you think about GT racing, this is the pinnacle. We appreciate the opportunity and appreciate the partnership with SRO. I can’t wait to be back here next year and have some more fun.”
And while the sponsorship bodes well for the future, Kurtz and CrowdStrike Racing were clearly focused on the present, as he claimed his first Spa 24 class win with a Bronze Cup triumph. He teamed with Valentin Pierburg and Reema Juffali – the trio having won in class at the Dubai 24 Hours earlier this year – plus Tim Müller for a five-lap victory in their CrowdStrike-sponsored No. 20 Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The SPS Mercedes began on the class pole position and led by a lap through the first three hours with Kurtz running the middle hour. Shortly after he pitted the Mercedes-AMG, a mechanical issue knocked the Mercedes down the order, and the quartet trailed by as many as four laps.
There was no panic, though, as the SPS team raced the race and not necessarily other cars. Things swung back the way of the No. 20 Mercedes mid-morning and into the afternoon as the consistency of the No. 20 Mercedes roster erased the deficit and built a multi-lap lead of its own.
Juffali, the first Saudi female to earn a professional racing license, crossed the finish line with the No. 20 Mercedes-AMG completing 514 laps. The quartet started 58th overall and finished 34th out of 66 cars.
“What a weekend and what an incredible job by everyone at SPS automotive performance and Mercedes-AMG,” said Kurtz, who also leads two championships in SRO Motorsports America. “The Spa 24 Hours has been on my bucket list for many years, and I’ve been fortunate to race here the last couple of seasons. To win here is something that I can’t describe. It was a tough race and a long race with so many cars. It didn’t go our way early on but everyone kept calm. Thanks to Tim, Valentin, Reema and everyone at SPS and CrowdStrike for their support. I can’t wait to do it again in 2023.”
As title sponsor of the 24 Hours of Spa starting next year, CrowdStrike will see increased exposure on a global stage. More than 60,000 fans attend the race each year, and manufacturer involvement is high with nine automotive brands present in this year’s event.
The introduction of CrowdStrike in Belgium also included its first CXO Summit outside the United States. A collaborative partnership between CrowdStrike and AWS (Amazon Web Services), CXO summits provide a forum for CrowdStrike and AWS executives to meet with guests and participate in exchanges about key cybersecurity and cloud protection topics.
The list of presenters for the networking event included some of the highest-ranking members of both firms: CrowdStrike’s Chief Security Officer and President of Services, Shawn Henry, and Angelo Comazzetto, Principal in the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer (OCISO) at AWS, led the discussions in a format that mirrors key CrowdStrike Racing events in SRO Motorsports America.
Kurtz and AWS Chief Information Security Officer CJ Moses – also a racing competitor in SRO America – met with participants and guests at Spa as a continuation of the American-based program and further tying in CrowdStrike Racing’s involvement in SRO Motorsports worldwide.
The CrowdStrike VIP hospitality experience at Spa also included a meet-and-greet with drivers and team members from SPS automotive, a tour of the Mercedes-AMG engineering center, hot laps around the race circuit, trackside viewing tours, competition at the Fanatec racing simulator lab and attendance at the mid-week, pre-race parade in the town of Spa.
The latter was of special significance as Kurtz drove a special No. 20 SPS/CrowdStrike Mercedes-AMG showcar at the head of the parade, which also included Gerhard Watzinger’s No. 70 CrowdStrike-liveried Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2.
Watzinger, CEO of CrowdStrike, drove the CrowdStrike Lambo for Leipert Motorsports in a pair of Super Trofeo European championship races. He finished seventh in Race One and improved to fifth place in Race Two.
The fans at-track for the Spa 24 and Super Trofeo – plus more than 40,000 people around the world who viewed the online stream of the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa in multiple languages – noticed the considerable amount of trackside signage from CrowdStrike. Two high-profile sections of the track featured CrowdStrike branding, with that looking to increase next year as CrowdStrike assumes the role as title sponsor.
CrowdStrike thanks its partners for the Spa 24 Hours experience including SRO Motorsports, AWS, Mercedes-AMG, SPS automotive performance, Leipert Motorsports and Fanatec.
CrowdStrike Racing returns to SRO Motorsports America competition at the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville on Aug. 5-7. Kurtz and Moses each will compete in a pair of 40-minute, single-driver races in GT America Powered by AWS.
For more information, visit CrowdStrikeRacing.com. Follow #CrowdStrikeRacing on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for updates.
Danielle Crespo, Sr. Racing Program Manager, CrowdStrike