ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – CrowdStrike Racing returned to SRO Motorsports America sports car competition in full at Road America over the weekend with entries in two categories. The three-day event marked the beginning of the second half for SRO America’s season, and it featured a heavy CrowdStrike feel with an additional level of sponsorship.
As Official Internet and Cloud Security Partner of SRO Motorsports America, CrowdStrike uses its presence in racing to showcase its suite of cybersecurity tools to not just those within the paddock and inside race circuits like Road America but also on a global platform with televised events on CBS Sports Network and streamed live on SRO Motorsports’ YouTube channel.
That means CrowdStrike can promote its methodologies and products for combating online threats and breaches. As one example, the company supplies its award-winning Falcon platform to all SRO worldwide entities.
Falcon provides an unprecedented level of security by stopping data breaches with a complete set of cloud-delivered technologies that prevent attacks from malware to more critical invasions. The Falcon also was the dominant feature on all CrowdStrike Racing entries in SRO America competition, another point of leverage that racing provides to tell the CrowdStrike story.
Adding to CrowdStrike’s exposure portfolio was its position as presenting sponsor for the entire SRO Motorsports America weekend – featuring four different championships, including the premier Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS series.
Each championship held two races on the weekend with GT World Challenge and its two 90-minute, two-driver races taking top billing on the track.
Off the track, one of the most exclusive experiences for CrowdStrike guests and VIPs was the season’s second in-person CXO Summit. An extension of its series partnership, CrowdStrike and Amazon Web Services (AWS) team to hold meetings that bring cybersecurity leaders together with executives from CrowdStrike and AWS to discuss trends and areas of opportunity within the cybersecurity industry.
At Road America, CXO Summit hosts Michael Sentonas, Chief Technology Officer of CrowdStrike Services; and Angelo Comazzetto, Office of the Chief Information Security Officer for AWS each gave presentations and fielded questions from guests on a number of topics related to cybersecurity and cloud protection. CrowdStrike Racing driver CJ Moses, Deputy CISO of AWS, was onsite during the weekend and added his valuable insight throughout.
In addition to the CXO Summit, CrowdStrike guests and VIPs experienced premium trackside entertainment and hospitality, including a dinner at the Road America Victory Podium at sunset.
To wrap things up, CrowdStrike also streamed an exclusive broadcast of the two Touring Car America races, featuring CrowdStrike Racing’s Kevin Boehm and live commentary by Kyle Heyer, CJ Moses, and Andrew Cardinale.
ON THE TRACK
Although George Kurtz and Colin Braun did not compete in the two races for Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS with their CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Mercedes AMG GT3, additional CrowdStrike-sponsored entries were near the front of their respective packs in pursuit of podium finishes in GT World Challenge and Touring Car America.
The highlight of the weekend came from DXDT Racing’s David Askew and Ryan Dalziel. The duo claimed a third-place podium finish in the Pro/Am category with their No. 63 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3. Dalziel started the race from the fifth position, was fourth at the mandatory driver change, and Askew picked up an additional spot during his stint.
It was the pairing’s second podium finish of the season.
“We came in here pretty confident based on how good we were last year and we just missed it a little bit and then the weather wasn't our friend,” Dalziel said. “So we started a little bit behind. We made it better for Race One, and then better for Race Two. The guys just worked really hard. David had a great stint and we had a nice clean-ish race which got us a podium. We needed this one. It's been a while since we got to stand on a podium, so we've got some work to do, but we're excited for this one.”
DXDT’s No. 19 CrowdStrike/AWS Mercedes-AMG of Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper placed seventh in Saturday’s first race but ran third early Sunday before a collision sent Cooper off the track. The contact also damaged the right-front of the Mercedes-AMG racecar, as well.
“We did what we could and the team put in an awesome effort to try to get us out on track again,” Vogel said. “Hopefully, we'll bring all this momentum even stronger back to Watkins Glen later this month.”
In Touring Car America, Boehm aimed to continue his momentum from the 2020 Road America weekend in which he won three times. Things started well in Saturday’s first race as Boehm drove his No. 9 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Honda Civic Type R TC to second place after beginning third on the grid.
Unfortunately Boehm fell back to fourth, which is where he finished Race One. He was sixth Sunday after another strong start in Race Two.
“It was a tough weekend,” Boehm said. “We started strong in both races and contended for the podium, but this weekend wasn’t meant to be. Watkins Glen will be here before we know it, and we won’t give up in trying to reach the top step again soon.”
TOOLS FOR THE JOB
CrowdStrike’s influence also stretches beyond its own racing activities. As Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider of SRO’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS, CrowdStrike works with SRO Motorsports America to protect scores of proprietary information such as team and driver medical and financial records, technical data, and video and digital content.
The collaboration between CrowdStrike and Amazon Web Services will play a large front-facing role in SRO America. As Global Official Cloud Provider, Global Official Machine Learning Provider and Global Technology Provider of SRO Motorsports, AWS is in 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.
A key relationship that CrowdStrike, AWS and DXDT Racing are proud to continue in 2021 is the one with Operation Motorsport. 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.
It continues 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 event in SRO Motorsports America is Sept. 17–19 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. More details can be found at crowdstrikeracing.com.