By Danielle Crespo | CrowdStrike, the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint cybersecurity protection, has announced its support of three racecars for the legendary Rolex 24 At Daytona race weekend at the end of January 2018. The company has signed a two-car partnership with European motorsports powerhouse United Autosports, which boasts double Formula 1 champion, Fernando Alonso, among its seven driver lineup for the 56th running of the Rolex 24.
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The CrowdStrike CEO himself, George Kurtz, will drive a Global Motorsports Group (GMG Racing)-prepared Audi in the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway and will host an executive conference for C-level peers over the January 25-28 race weekend.
All three CrowdStrike-supported cars are part of winning teams with drivers of the highest calibre. United Autosports, the reigning champions in their class in the European Le Mans Series, will compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s LMP2 class at Daytona. Alonso will share the No. 23 Ligier JS P217 with Phil Hanson and Lando Norris, and in the No. 32 will be Hugo de Sadeleer, Will Owen, Bruno Senna, and Paul Di Resta.
On the day prior to the 24-hour race, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams will compete in the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona. A GMG-prepared Audi R8 LMS GT4 will be driven by Kurtz, the reigning Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) GTSA Driver’s Champion who earned nine wins last season. PWC series victors Andrew Davis and James Sofronas will share the No. 14 Audi with Kurtz, rounding out a powerful three-car effort for CrowdStrike Racing at Daytona.
“To participate in the Rolex 24 at Daytona weekend on both a personal and professional level is beyond what I could have hoped for when I first began racing”, Kurtz acknowledged. “Having United Autosports’ team carrying the CrowdStrike logo on their cars at this event will really be something special for our corporate guests. For me, the opportunity to compete in the four-hour race with GMG will be a great kickoff to the rest of my race season. The team learned a lot during the test sessions earlier this month and we’re ready to get back to Daytona!”.
The Alonso mania
Champion racer Alonso is enjoying an ever-rising tide of adoration from motorsport fans in the US and around the globe. Already an established veteran of Formula 1 racing, he drew even more interest last year when he, along with McLaren executive Zak Brown, orchestrated a one-off race at the Indianapolis 500 in the midst of the Formula 1 race season. A simple live stream of Alonso’s test day in the CrowdStrike-sponsored No. 29 McLaren-Honda-Andretti car drew over two million online viewers, and the media coverage that followed was so extraordinary that it was dubbed “Alonso Mania.” On race day, the Spaniard led 27 of 500 laps and was in strong contention for the win before his engine failed with 21 laps left to go. Now, for the first time, Alonso’s taking on endurance racing at the legendary Rolex 24 At Daytona in a CrowdStrike-supported United Autosports car to give American viewers another chance to watch him perform on their home soil.
The efforts of Brown and Kurtz will support an elegant motorsports networking concept that’s been years in the making. “I’ve known George [Kurtz] for quite some time and it’s been amazing watching the start and tremendous growth of CrowdStrike in such a short period of time”, said Brown. “They are unique and are a world-class organization”.
Networking at the track
CrowdStrike will share this experience with an intimate group of business contacts via a series of C-level hospitality events in Daytona Beach, co-sponsored by LaSalle Solutions and Amazon Web Services. Some of the best minds in the cybersecurity business will convene to share industry trends and forecasts at the CrowdStrike CXO Conference, held in the Daytona International Speedway’s High Banks suites during the Rolex 24 race weekend. CrowdStrike regularly hosts these business meetings during key motorsports events. The Silicon Valley-based company has been recognised for its business growth and technology achievements with inclusion in the INC 500, Deloitte Technology Fast 500, CNBC Disruptor 50, Forbes Most Promising Companies lists amongst its many industry achievements.