CrowdStrike Shines On and Off the Track at Sonoma
- Five trophies, including two victories for CrowdStrike entries
- Kurtz, Braun take two podiums in GT World Challenge America
- Kevin Boehm sweeps TC America Touring Car weekend
- Event weekend presented and protected by CrowdStrike
SONOMA, Calif. (April 21, 2022) – CrowdStrike Racing came up big on the first full weekend of SRO Motorsports America competition at Sonoma Raceway with victories on the track and celebrations off of it.
CrowdStrike – a leader in cloud-delivered protection of endpoints, cloud workloads, identity and data – served as presenting sponsor of the weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. The entire Sonoma Raceway facility was branded with CrowdStrike’s “Win as One” messaging, and allowed CrowdStrike to demonstrate its continued leadership in motorsport activation and promotion as SRO America returned to Sonoma.
As the Official Internet and Cloud Security Partner of SRO and GT World Challenge, 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 also is 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 race at Sonoma featured one of the largest crowds of spectators since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, where guests and employees of CrowdStrike enjoyed visits to the SRO paddock in Sonoma. Many took advantage of opportunities to interact with the CrowdStrike Racing teams and see the teams and cars up close.
CrowdStrike in Competition
CrowdStrike Racing ran consistently at the front in all six races it had entries in at Sonoma, putting all three of its drivers – George Kurtz, Colin Braun and Kevin Boehm – in prime championship position for the early portion of the season.
The competition portion of the weekend couldn’t have started much better as CrowdStrike Racing entries took a victory and two runner-up finishes Saturday. Kurtz, co-founder and CEO of CrowdStrike, started it with a runner-up finish in GT America Powered by AWS with his No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS Mercedes-AMG, just missing a third straight victory at Sonoma in the series by 0.152 seconds.
The top three cars ran nose-to-nail for much of the race with Kurtz moving from third to second on a late-race restart to set up his challenge for victory.
“I’m really proud of the team. CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports gave me a great car. Though the weather complicated the setup for the car and strategy on Saturday, the weekend was a success overall!” Kurtz said. “It was a great result and we’ll build on it.”
Kurtz went on to take another runner-up with Braun in Saturday’s 90-minute GT World Challenge America race. Starting third in Pro-Am, Kurtz drove a measured opening 40 minutes before making a mandatory pit stop for fuel, a tire change and switch-over to Braun. The stop for the CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports crew was flawless with the No. 04 Mercedes-AMG gaining a spot to second with 50 minutes to go.
Braun hit the track inside 50 minutes left and five seconds behind the race leader. He methodically cut the gap closer and closer until he was inside one second behind with 10 minutes left. Braun eventually finished just 0.621 seconds behind the leader.
The pairing finished on the podium again Sunday with a third-place class finish, an impressive result after Braun passed five cars on the opening lap to move from 10th to fifth at the start. He was fourth at the pit stop and watched Kurtz gain one more position to third inside the final 10 minutes. That result followed a sixth-place showing for Kurtz in Sunday’s GT America race.
“I’m excited about the weekend as a whole. We didn’t qualify where we wanted to on Sunday, so I was happy to be able to make up some spots on the start and get us back into contention,” Braun said. “The guys had a great pit stop, and George did a great job on his stint to get us back on the podium. It was a real team effort. That shows the strength of a team long-term – not flashes of brilliance but always being in the mix. I was happy to turn what wasn’t a great start to the day into a podium finish. That’s what puts us in contention to be a championship contender all year.”
In TC America, Boehm made an early-season championship statement by winning both 40-minute Touring Car class races in his No. 9 CrowdStrike/AWS Honda Performance Development Civic Type R TC. He has three straight wins in the category dating back to 2021’s final race in Indianapolis.
Saturday’s race saw Boehm cap the day for CrowdStrike with a strong, come-from-behind Touring Car-class victory in the first TC America race of the season. Starting sixth in class, Boehm drove the No. 9 CrowdStrike/AWS HPD Civic Type R TC to third on the opening lap, took the lead on the sixth lap and won by 10 seconds.
Sunday, Boehm and his CrowdStrike/AWS HPD Civic began second in class but he made a daring move into the first corner to take the lead on Lap One. It was nip-and-tuck the entire race for Boehm, who didn’t lead by more than a second until the latter stages.
“We got to the lead fairly quickly but it was about picking the right moments,” Boehm said. “Once we got out front, it was kind of just getting into a rhythm. The tires were not liking the track at the end, so trying to find a pace that we could drive to the finish was key. That’s what it took today.
“I have to hand it off to all our partners, CrowdStrike and AWS, for helping me get here,” Boehm added. “Our new partnership with Skip Barber Racing School is working incredibly. It’s unbelievable. We have Operation Motorsport with us again. All of these things combined together are making this program possible. These two wins this weekend show that.”
CrowdStrike and Operation Motorsport
Another important part of the CrowdStrike Racing program is Operation Motorsport. A not-for-profit, OpMo provides a chance for medically retiring service members and disabled 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.
It continues a proud tradition of CrowdStrike supporting veterans and the Operation Motorsport program. Three OpMo beneficiaries were part of the CrowdStrike family at Sonoma: Craig Neri, Retired – U.S. Air Force, and Air Force Technical Sgt. Michael Air worked on Boehm’s TC program as a crew member; and U.S. Army Sgt. Troy Bailey worked as a tire specialist for CrowdStrike Racing with Riley Motorsports. All three carried on the OpMo mantra of “Recovery Through Motorsports #OneAtATime.”
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 event in SRO Motorsports America takes place May 20-22 from the new Ozarks International Raceway in Gravois Mills, Missouri.
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