Team CrowdStrike / One Motorsports Nearly Takes Overall Win, Finishes Top 3 in Class at 25 Hours of Thunderhill
For each race lap completed, $2 was donated to the CrowdStrike Foundation’s fundraiser for California wildfire victims; over $24,000 raised in total
Willows, Calif. (December 3, 2018) — Competing in the longest race in North America and one of the toughest events of any race season, Team CrowdStrike/One Motorsports seemed poised to win the legendary 25 Hours of Thunderhill on Sunday. Drivers Kenton Koch, George Kurtz, Jeff Shafer and Gerhard Watzinger each led the race for a total of 20 hours at this endurance event just north of Sacramento, California. A string of late-race, last-minute repairs forced the team to retire the No. 44 Team CrowdStrike/One Motorsports Radical RS3, but they were so far ahead of the competition by that point they still finished third in the ESR class.
The weekend began on a high note, a tone that continued through most of the race. Koch, an extremely talented IMSA Prototype Challenge star, was on pace to earn pole position during qualifying until he was outpaced by just 0.09 seconds on the last lap. The team still earned the privilege of starting from the first row in a field of 46 cars, and CrowdStrike’s CEO and co-founder Kurtz took the honors of driving the first stint of the race. He, along with CrowdStrike’s Chairman of the Board Watzinger and One Motorsports team owner Shafer soon put the No. 44 in first position and kept it there for the majority of the race — a total of 453 laps.
As the day quickly turned to night, the drivers took turns racing in 15 hours of pitch black, eventually leading the race by 17 laps more than their closest competitor. With the Radical’s quick and reliable performance, it seemed the team would finally see its goal of an overall win come to fruition — until the final hours of the race when multiple track debris-related problems began to crop up. The One Motorsports crew skillfully handled a series of unplanned pitstops until there was simply no more time to make the major repairs to the motor that were needed. After more than 22 hours of competition, the team made the strategic decision to retire the car from the race.
“It was a bit of a heartbreak today,” said Kurtz. “I think we had our best shot for an overall win. We led most of the laps in the race. We had a brake failure at the 20-hour mark and then we had an clutch failure. So, we let the car be. We earned third place in class based on the number of laps we drove. But we’ll be back next year — that’s why we race at Thunderhill. Many thanks to my co-drivers, One Motorsports, the crew, and our sponsors AWS, LaSalle Solutions and Ceramic Pro.”
Before the race, Kurtz pledged that for each lap completed by the No. 44 car, $2 would be sent to the CrowdStrike Foundation to assist with relief efforts for victims of the recent California wildfires. Thunderhill Raceway is in a community that was affected by the Camp Fire, which destroyed the nearby town of Paradise. With 633 laps completed by Team CrowdStrike, a donation of $1,266 will be added to the funds that have already been raised by the CrowdStrike Foundation.
Steven Robb, president of the Solutions Group at LaSalle Solutions, also pledged to match this contribution, bringing the Thunderhill race donation total to $2,532. All combined, this will result in over $24,000 being donated to wildfire victims on behalf of the CrowdStrike Foundation.
“Everyone at LaSalle Solutions is happy to make a contribution to this community affected by this tragedy,” he said. “We’ll gladly match the contribution based on Team CrowdStrike’s lap tally.”
This marks the final race of the 2018 season for Kurtz and CrowdStrike Racing. More news and announcements can be read at crowdstrikeracing.com and on CrowdStrike Racing’s social media accounts.
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About the CrowdStrike Foundation:
The CrowdStrike Foundation was incorporated in 2017. The CrowdStrike Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit, funds scholarships and research, provides pro bono security software protection, and supports communities across the globe. Major programs of the CrowdStrike Foundation include:
NextGen Scholarship Program for undergraduate and graduate students studying cybersecurity and/or AI Funding research at universities with leading cybersecurity and/or AI programs
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Support for communities through philanthropy, volunteering, and other activities.
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Photos: Doug Berger
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