First SprintX Races of the Season Provide Lessons, Opportunities for CrowdStrike Racing
AUSTIN, Texas (March 28, 2018) — The CrowdStrike racing team’s resilience was put to the test during two Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) SprintX races at the Circuit of The Americas over the weekend. The Saturday and Sunday double header presented some challenges for drivers George Kurtz and Colin Braun, but they still managed to secure a top 10 finish with their No. 04 CrowdStrike/GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 in Austin.
Kurtz, the CEO and co-founder of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, and Braun, a racing pro who has experienced great success at the top levels of motorsports, have paired up for the SprintX races in the 2018 PWC season. The duo is racing in the GTS class in a Global Motorsports Group (GMG Racing)-prepared Audi for the first time together. In the SprintX format, each competitor completes half of the 60-minute race, with a driver change creating a wildcard factor for each team. With a record 38 GTS-class cars competing in Austin, the smallest setback can have a big impact on the final standings.
The weekend started out on a high note, with Braun setting the fastest practice times on Friday. Saturday’s race began to present challenges for Kurtz, who started in 13th but, with multiple laps under the caution flag, only had the opportunity to gain one position before it was time to hand the car over to Braun. An issue with getting the Audi restarted caused a significant delay in the pit lane, which cost Braun precious seconds and set him back 11 positions. However, the talented driver was able to overtake an impressive 13 cars by the end of the race, and the CrowdStrike team finished in 10th place.
Sunday’s race was held under cloudy, drizzling conditions. Braun took the wheel of the No. 04 Audi and began the race from ninth place. He was bumped by a competitor on the first lap, causing him to spin and lose valuable positions. Then, an ABS sensor issue cost Braun additional positions, which he pushed to regain, working his way up through the field before the driver change. When Kurtz took the wheel, he skillfully maintained a steady pace in a wounded car, but the duo finished outside of the top 10. CrowdStrike’s guests, however, were able to celebrate the first place finish of GMG’s No. 14 Audi raced by James Sofronas and Alex Welch.
“We had some issues with the car’s sensors when Colin was out there,” Kurtz said on Sunday. “That impacted the race, unfortunately. After the driver change, I got in the car and did the best I could. There is still some work to be done, and we’ll keep pushing the program forward. A big congratulations to James and Alex on their win.”
Braun was disappointed in Sunday’s race results, but was upbeat about the driver pair’s first SprintX race of the season. “These races are short — you really don’t have time to make up for too big of a loss. To come away with a top 10 in the first race makes for a good weekend overall. However, there are a lot of things to work on and improve for the next one.”
Outside of the track activity, CrowdStrike’s hospitality events were right on target. The team hosted influential guests in the cybersecurity industry in a suite overlooking the beautiful racetrack, complete with a balcony to view the team’s pit stops and driver changes from above. Saturday morning’s CXO Summit provided guests with breakfast and open conversation about solving tough security problems. COO of CrowdStrike Colin Black and Deputy Chief Information Security Officer of Amazon Web Services CJ Moses led the discussion. Finally, the start of Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge race was announced by David Treadwell, VP of eCommerce Foundation at Amazon.
CBS Sports will replay the GTS-X race action on April 5 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Kurtz’ next race is at the Long Beach Grand Prix from April 13 to 15. Follow along with CrowdStrike Racing on twitter.com/crowdstrikercng, instagram.com/crowdstrikeracing, and on the website at www.crowdstrikeracing.com.
CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity technology company, is the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection. Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform offers instant visibility and protection across the enterprise and prevents attacks on endpoints on or off the network. CrowdStrike Falcon deploys in minutes to deliver actionable intelligence and real-time protection from Day One. It seamlessly unifies next-generation AV with best-in-class endpoint detection and response, backed by 24/7 managed hunting. Its cloud infrastructure and single-agent architecture take away complexity and add scalability, manageability, and speed.
There's much more to the story of how Falcon has redefined endpoint protection but there's only one thing to remember about CrowdStrike: We stop breaches.
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About GMG Racing:
Founded in 2001, GMG has quickly established itself as North America’s premier performance tuning facility. What began as a small 1200 sq. ft. shop, maintaining two race cars, has grown into a 30,000 sq. ft. state of the art performance tuning, racing and service facility located in (Orange County) Santa Ana, California. The staff, attention to detail, and passion are what make GMG the choice of professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. Learn more at gmgracing.com.
Photos: Sideline Sports Photography, Alex Bauzon
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