CrowdStrike Racing Extends Championship Leads at The Glen
- Four victories in six SRO America races for CrowdStrike Racing program
- George Kurtz, Colin Braun score overall win, runner-up in GT World Challenge America
- Two race wins and pole positions for Kurtz in GT America
- Boehm takes fifth TC win and runner-up in CrowdStrike/AWS HPD Civic
- CrowdStrike also active as Official Cloud and Internet Security Provider of SRO
WATKINS GLEN, New York (July 27, 2022) – CrowdStrike Racing put on another motorsports clinic in SRO Motorsports America competition with four victories in six races at Watkins Glen International.
Drivers George Kurtz, Colin Braun and Kevin Boehm each claimed at least one victory during the two days at The Glen. The results also cemented CrowdStrike Racing teams and drivers into the leads of their respective championships.
Kurtz, CrowdStrike co-founder and CEO, scored three victories on the weekend: an overall win Sunday alongside Braun in GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS, and a pair of pole positions and wins in GT America Powered by AWS. Each win came in separate but familiar No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS Mercedes-AMG GT3s.
Kevin Boehm also found success with a win and runner-up finish with his No. 9 CrowdStrike/AWS Honda Performance Development Type R TC in the TC America Powered by Skip Barber Racing School.
Just as CrowdStrike Racing was winning on the track, CrowdStrike protected sensitive operational data as the Official Cloud and Internet Security Provider of SRO Motorsports.
CrowdStrike is on the front line of protecting data and preventing security breaches, while also being on the starting line in many of SRO America’s racing categories – including the premier GT World Challenge America. The company’s powerful Falcon graphic is the dominant feature on all CrowdStrike Racing entries in SRO America competition.
The Falcon was proudly flying around The Glen all weekend. The culmination came Sunday in the 90-minute GT World Challenge America race for CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports. Kurtz and Braun won in the Pro-Am category for the third time this year and second overall together since moving to the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 2019.
Braun started second in class Sunday in the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS Mercedes-AMG and quickly built a comfortable gap over the third-place car while reeling in the leader. By the time Braun made his mandatory pit stop with 42 minutes to go, he had closed to within 0.7 seconds of the lead.
The CrowdStrike Riley team were perfect on the pit stop as Kurtz emerged from the pitlane with a 10-second lead in class. As good as things were for the CrowdStrike Mercedes, it got better with two laps remaining as Kurtz passed the overall race leader and went on to win by nearly four seconds.
“We kept our heads down, and the CrowdStrike Riley guys gave us a great car,” said Kurtz, who is headed to Belgium to compete in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Spa. “We knew we had the pace and just had to put it together. We had the great stop, and it was a total team effort. It was a really good battle against an excellent field. Our team wasn’t going to let up, we stayed focused and managed to get P1.”
Sunday’s win combined with a runner-up finish Saturday allowed Kurtz and Braun to maintain their lead in the Pro-Am Championship with three events to go. In the weekend’s first race at The Glen, Kurtz qualified on the Pro-Am pole and Braun finished just 0.179 seconds behind the overall and class-winning car after a strong battle throughout the 90 minutes.
“The Riley guys have been great. They come with a lot of experience with the car and with the format of sports car racing,” Braun said. “You bring that piece together with the experience George and I have for the last handful of years with the Mercedes, we all came in, laid our cards out and just got to work and started down this path. I’m really proud of everyone on this CrowdStrike Riley team. It takes an army, and these guys work really, really hard behind the scenes. We’ve only been together since Sonoma; we didn’t really have much of a chance to do a lot of preseason testing. I’m proud of how quickly we’ve all gelled together. We’re consistently focused on trying to improve and get better. That’s the main focus.”
That also paid off in GT America for Kurtz, who swept a weekend in the series for the second consecutive event, having pulled off the feat at VIR.
Sunday’s race was one of the most exciting in Kurtz’s career, as he won on the last lap with a pass two corners from the finish to make it four victories in a row in the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS Mercedes-AMG. He ran second halfway through the race and took advantage of a late-race, full-course caution to pressure the lead car and pounce on the final lap.
“The last lap was incredible,” Kurtz said. “Jason (Harward) overtook me when I had a lot of pick-up on my tires passing the GT4 cars. Fortunately we had the safety car so I was hoping we’d have enough time to get back. I saw where he had a lot of pick-up after the safety car. I wanted to get behind him; I knew I was a little faster coming out turns Seven and Eight, and got it done in Nine.”
Saturday was another banner day for Kurtz. He went flag-to-flag and was one of the few cars to have a trouble-free race, which aided in his run. There were two full-course cautions in the race to keep the lead cars bunched up, but Kurtz maintained his composure and his lead as the gap behind him steadily opened through the end of the race.
Boehm continued his march toward his first TC Championship with his sixth of the season and a runner-up finish in his No. 9 CrowdStrike/AWS HPD Civic Type R TC in Touring Car America. He placed second on the track after Saturday’s hard-fought, 40-minute battle from third on the grid but started fifth for Race Two.
Sunday was a new day as Boehm worked his way up to third on the opening lap. He lost a position on the following lap but moved back up to podium position while avoiding a spinning TC car in front of him near the 15-minute mark.
That seemed to rejuvenate Boehm, who moved up to second a lap later but three seconds from the lead at the halfway point. Boehm ran down the leader and reduced the gap to a half-second with three laps to go and took the lead for good a lap later.
“You don’t really go into many races thinking you don’t have a chance to win. Today, I was just trying to get to the podium and I would have been happy if we could do that. It’s just that sometimes the race goes your way… not even in one moment but just little moments at a time that you get breaks. There was a lot of being in the right place at the right time. We had a really great car on top of it to put us in position to get lucky. I can’t thank the Skip Barber Racing team for prepping the car all weekend and CrowdStrike and AWS for getting us here. I’m so happy to get them on the top step again today.”
CrowdStrike and Operation Motorsport
Also scoring another victory on the weekend was the partnership between CrowdStrike and Operation Motorsport. It’s a point of pride for both as each group has the goal of helping to serve retired and disabled veterans.
A not-for-profit, OpMo provides a chance for service members 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.
Two OpMo members were part of Boehm’s crew at Watkins Glen and celebrated a win and second-place finish: Craig Neri, Retired – U.S. Air Force, and Retired Air Force Technical Sgt. Michael Neri. Each carried on the OpMo mantra of “Recovery Through Motorsports #OneAtATime.”
CrowdStrike is also a proud part of American Corporate Partners (ACP), which provides CrowdStrike mentors for service members looking to transition to the private sector, and a partner with HireMilitary, to provide meaningful internship experiences to service members exiting the military via the DoDSkillBridge program.
CrowdStrike Racing’s next race in SRO Motorsports America is a GT America weekend at Nashville’s Music City Grand Prix from Aug. 5-7. The rest of SRO America’s championships resume at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin from Aug. 19-21.
For more information, visit CrowdStrikeRacing.com. Follow #CrowdStrikeRacing on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for updates.
Brain Cleary, BCPix
Danielle Crespo, Sr. Racing Program Manager, CrowdStrike