CrowdStrike-Sponsored Race Team Enjoys Rally of Global Support at Daytona
Sunnyvale, Calif. (February 08, 2018) — CrowdStrike, along with LaSalle Solutions and Amazon Web Services (AWS), sponsored the race team United Autosports for the Rolex 24 At Daytona from January 25-27. This arrangement continued a motorsports business relationship between George Kurtz, chief executive officer and co-founder of CrowdStrike, and Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren Technology Group and co-owner of United Autosports. Executive-level guests in the cybersecurity industry were invited to take part in this world-renowned race season kickoff in Florida.
Last year, Kurtz raced with a McLaren 570S GT4 in the Pirelli World Challenge, and CrowdStrike sponsored the bright orange McLaren-Honda-Andretti IndyCar that two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso famously drove in his Indianapolis 500 debut. At this year's Daytona race, there were over 195 drivers in contention, but the news media focused on Alonso as he made his sportscar debut with United Autosports. Alonso, along with six other elite drivers, raced in the two-car lineup at Daytona International Speedway for a global audience. Many F1 fans who may not have shown much interest in the Rolex 24 in the past were now paying attention to the blue-and-white Ligier LMP2 cars with CrowdStrike's logo on their wings.
Kurtz also began his own race season at Daytona, driving a more recognizable sportscar dressed in red-and-silver CrowdStrike livery. His No. 14 Audi R8 LMS GT4 was part of a three-car lineup supported by Global Motorsports Group (GMG Racing) for a four-hour endurance race held the day before the Rolex 24. During this race, called the BMW Endurance Challenge, a field of sportscars from Audi, BMW, McLaren, Mercedes and more raced around the famous Floridian track. CrowdStrike's guests had both a contender to support and a primer for the big race weekend to come. Kurtz' race ended early because of damage to the car, but his guests happily cheered him on just the same.
That evening, at a private dinner in a dining room overlooking the iconic speedway, guests were treated to another surprise. The four drivers of United Autosports' No. 32 car and team co-owner Richard Dean arrived from the track to engage in a Q & A session with CrowdStrike's guests. Denis O'Leary, a CrowdStrike board member and former chief information officer at JPMorgan Chase, who also happens to be a racer, asked a hot-button question: "What's the difference between a driver who wins every weekend versus those who always end up mid-pack?" "Risk management and consistency" was the general consensus given by drivers Hugo de Sadeleer, Paul Di Resta, Will Owen and Bruno Senna. When asked who his favorite driver was, Senna laughed. "Well, you know who I'm going to say," referring to his uncle Ayrton Senna, who is regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time.
The following morning's activities started well before the green flag waved to start the race, but there was another surprise at the executive breakfast in CrowdStrike's "High Banks" speedway suite. All seven United Autosports drivers, including Alonso and the two other drivers of the No. 23 car, Phil Hanson and Lando Norris, greeted guests and posed for group photos. The buzzing atmosphere in the suite was similar to Christmas morning, as many of the executives are also race fans or are racers themselves. After the drivers filed out to suit up for the race, CrowdStrike's guests settled in for the main event.
The 24-hour race at Daytona is called the "Super Bowl" of racing for a reason; it draws in hundreds of thousands of viewers from around the globe. Throughout the race, a live video feed from inside the No. 23 car was broadcast online with views of the cockpit displaying the logos of both CrowdStrike and LaSalle Solutions. All of the drivers performed to their maximum, but it was Alonso's co-driver Norris who made headlines with his skilled driving, bringing the car up to a respectable fourth position during a brief overnight rainstorm. Unfortunately, a brake issue forced the No. 23 car to undergo repairs and lose its hard-earned position in the race, but the No. 32 held strong and climbed towards the top of the field. As the checkered flag waved, the United Autosports 32 car took fourth place after driving a stunning 804 laps around the speedway; the damaged 23 finished 13th in class.
Being associated with an event, a team and a race of this caliber was a win in itself for CrowdStrike. "When I look at the parallels between teamwork on the track and with CrowdStrike, I think they're very similar," Kurtz commented. "You have to have the best team in racing. It's not all about the driver. It's not all about the car. It's about the team. And the team has to work together to solve problems. Same at CrowdStrike - we've developed a world-class team, we're solving some very hard problems and it's one of the reasons we've been so successful. We focus on the customer, we've got a great team and we've got great technology."
Over the course of this year, additional CXO Summits for cybersecurity executives will be held at motorsports events around the country. Starting in March, Kurtz plans to race the Audi with GMG in the Pirelli World Challenge, the same series in which he earned a championship title last year.
Watch a replay of the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge race on FS1 on Saturday, February 10 at 8:00 a.m. EST. Follow along with CrowdStrike Racing on Twitter at @crowdstrikercng and Instagram at @crowdstrikeracing.
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 United Autosports:
United Autosports is a well-known GT and sports car race team, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. Founded in 2009 by businessman, Zak Brown and racing driver, Richard Dean, United Autosports have raced in a number of different championships, with a vast range of cars and drivers.
The team are double European Le Mans Series LMP3 champions, having won the title back to back in 2016 and 2017. United Autosports are also sole UK agents for Onroak Automotive’s range of LMP3 and CN cars. In 2017, United Autosports entered the European Le Mans Series with two Ligier JS P3 cars. They also entered the LMP2 class of the series with their Ligier JS P217 finishing second in the championship. They also made their debut in the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours finishing fourth in class (fifth overall). The team also raced in the Michelin Le Mans Cup – support race to the ELMS with two Ligier JS P3s. They also raced in the debut season of the British LMP3 Cup Championship, finishing second in the championship. Learn more at unitedautosports.com.
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.
About LaSalle Solutions:
Founded in 1980, LaSalle Solutions is a leading provider of technology lifecycle asset management services. LaSalle enables its customers to improve their technology operations through enhanced processes, management and reporting for better planning and return on investment. LaSalle Solutions’ processes, outstanding customer service and powerful, market-leading cloud-based platform, LAMP, enable customers to obtain better business outcomes through transparency and reliable results at their fingertips.LaSalle Solutions is a division of MB Equipment Finance LLC, a subsidiary of MB Financial Bank, N.A., a commercial bank headquartered in Chicago. MB Financial Inc. is the publicly traded holding company for MB Financial Bank, N.A. and is traded on the NASDAQ as "MBFI." For more information on LaSalle Solutions, please visit www.elasalle.com and www.YouTube.com/LaSalleSolutions.
Photos: Robert Page, SSP Photography, Jakob Ebrey
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