- Four victories in six races during SRO Motorsports America’s opening weekend at Sonoma
- Kurtz/Braun race CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3 to GT World Challenge victory
- Two wins for Kurtz with CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3 in new GT America
- Boehm takes first-, third-place finishes in TC category debut with CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT HPD Civic Type R TC
- Home event for Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider for SRO America
- ‘Win As One’ mantra rings true in business and on racetrack
- Operation Motorsport gives an assist on winning weekend
NEW: Watch the first of an episodic video series exploring the parallels between cybersecurity and racing, featuring highlights from Sonoma Raceway.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (March 8, 2021) – 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.”
Kurtz seized an early lead in the first-year GT America Powered by AWS championship with a pair of stunning victories, including a come-from-behind thriller, in his No. 04 CrowdStrike/DXDT/AWS Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The front-runner all weekend in the new series, Kurtz qualified on pole position for Saturday’s first race, claimed the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap award to being out front for Sunday’s second race, and completed the sweep with another dominating run.
The only issue seemingly for Kurtz was a mid-race penalty Saturday when series officials ruled that he jumped the race start. It erased Kurtz’s 20-second lead, and he emerged from the pit exit in fifth place just past the halfway point of the 40-minute race. Fast, consistent laps got Kurtz back to second place with three laps to go. He retook the lead on the following lap and went on to win by 5.9 seconds.
“We’ve had speed all weekend,” Kurtz said. “It was demoralizing to get the penalty. I just put my head down and said we had to get back to P1 and win this thing like we should have from the start. I had a feeling I could get back to the lead. I felt if the traffic cooperated and held up the guys a little bit up front, I had the pace to just chip away and get it done with a few laps left, which is what happened.”
Late-race drama tightened things up in Sunday’s race. Kurtz stormed away from the start and led by seven seconds with nine minutes to go before a full-course caution for debris on course bunched up the field. The race began again with six minutes to go with Kurtz under tremendous pressure but he responded to win by 1.7 seconds.
“This gives us a lot of confidence,” Kurtz said. “We knew we had the speed this weekend. There were some challenges to work through, some high and lows. But this has been a great weekend, and I’m glad we have it in the books.”
TOURING CAR AMERICA
A year after winning TCA Championship, Rookie of the Year and six races, Boehm transitioned nicely into the TC America powered by Skip Barber Racing School category with a victory and another podium finish in his first race weekend with the No. 9 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Racing HPD Civic Type R TC. The results came with an added benefit: he leads the TC Drivers Championship after the first weekend.
The TC category of Touring Car America traditionally is one of the most competitive in all of SRO Motorsports America, which makes Boehm’s debut in the class that much more impressive. He started and ran most of Saturday’s 40-minute race in second place but took the lead on a late-race restart with six minutes remaining before ending up third in his first TC race.
On Sunday, it all went right for Boehm from the start. From second place, he jumped to the lead at the start and just before a full-course caution on the opening lap. After circulating for more than 20 minutes behind the safety car, Boehm reasserted himself immediately. He led by 1.4 seconds on the first lap following the restart and grew that lead toward the end of the race. He eventually won by 7.7 seconds.
“It’s all down to teamwork,” Boehm said. “When we got here, the car wasn’t really suited to this track. Every time we went out there, we put our heads together and we came up with a plan. The final race here is a perfect example of not giving up and working together as a team. That’s how you eventually get the results. I’m definitely surprised it came that quick. I didn’t expect that race at all, but the car just felt amazing the whole time.”
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 crowdstrikeracing.com.
CrowdStrike, a global cybersecurity leader, is redefining security for the cloud era with an endpoint and workload protection platform built from the ground up to stop breaches. The CrowdStrike Falcon® platform’s single lightweight-agent architecture leverages cloud-scale artificial intelligence (AI) and offers real-time protection and visibility across the enterprise, preventing attacks on endpoints and workloads on or off the network. Powered by the proprietary CrowdStrike Threat Graph®, CrowdStrike Falcon correlates 5 trillion endpoint-related events per week in real time from across the globe, fueling one of the world’s most advanced data platforms for security.
With CrowdStrike, customers benefit from better protection, better performance and immediate time-to-value delivered by the cloud-native Falcon platform.
There’s only one thing to remember about CrowdStrike: We stop breaches.
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ABOUT DXDT RACING
DXDT Racing LLC is a high-performance sports car racing team founded by team principal David Askew in 2014 and located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Team’s primary focus is on GT3 and GT4 racing in North America. The team has fielded cars in various racing series such as SRO’s World Challenge GT America Powered by AWS, IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge, and Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo series. Although the team is young, DXDT is comprised of a group of highly experienced professionals with championship winning backgrounds.
ABOUT OPERATION MOTORSPORT
Operation Motorsport is a veteran-led and -operated, 501(c)3 Not-for-Profit, based in Brighton, Ontario, Canada; and Raleigh, North Carolina serving Canadian & American service members and veterans. It was founded on the basis of three simple words: Excite, Engage and Empower. The premise is to engage ill and injured Service Members and veterans affected by military service, through Motorsport activities to aid in their recovery and rehabilitation.