What a Start to 2021 in SRO America for CrowdStrike Racing!

8 March 2021 GT America

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – 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 AMERICA

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.”

OPERATION MOTORSPORT

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 https://www.crowdstrikeracing.com.