Racing News (9762)
Racing News from around the World
Katech announced that it is increasing its presence and commitment to the Trans Am Series for 2019.
New this year, Katech is sending its master Trans Am engine builder Beau Bradley to be on-site at all 12 Trans Am Championship events. Bradley will be available to teams running Katech engines to ensure optimum performance on race day. Kevin Pranger, Katech’s Director of Motorsports, will continue to provide customer support on demand from Katech’s headquarters in Greater Detroit, and track support at select events.
Also new, Katech will have a replacement TA2 Chevrolet engine and parts on site at each Trans Am Championship event.
“The Trans Am Series is a prized piece of Katech’s 40-plus year legacy of racing and winning at the world’s most demanding venues – Indy, Daytona, Sebring, LeMans, Dakar, and more,” Pranger said.
“The 2017 and 2018 TA Champion – Ernie Francis Jr. and Breathless Racing – won with Katech engines,” said Pranger. “We look forward to helping him go for three in a row in 2019.”
“Five championships in a row, you don’t change anything,” said Ernie Francis Sr., owner of Breathless Racing. “We’ve won two TA4, one TA3, and two TA Championships with the proven power and reliability of Katech engines.”
Last year Katech engines powered 32 percent of all TA2 cars, winning 33 percent of the TA2 races. “Trans Am, and especially the TA2 circuit, is very important to us and has our full attention,” said Pranger.
“The personal attention we receive from Katech on and off the track the track is fantastic,” said Blaise Csida, owner of BC Race Cars. BC recently received an order of three new Katech TA2 engines. “We chose Katech because we have not had a single issue with a Katech engine … ever,” said Csida. “Service and reliable power – two great reasons we will not go anywhere else.”
Since entering TA2 in 2012, Katech has won 30 of the 69 national circuit races.
The last time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) participated in a restrictor plate ARCA race – he found himself as a runner-up in the closest finish in series’ history last April at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
This weekend, Graf Jr. hopes to have a role of reversal as he treks to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.
Joining the ARCA tour after Daytona last year, Graf Jr. will compete for the series’ championship aboard Chad Bryant Racing’s No. 77 Ford Fusion and with tough competition anticipated for the 20-race crown, Graf Jr. is ready to get down to business at the “World Center of Racing.”
“This is certainly a bucket list item to race at Daytona,” said Graf Jr. who finished eighth in the 2018 points standings despite missing one race. “We’re racing for a championship this season and a good run on Saturday will help our efforts. I know though when it comes to plate racing, finishing can sometimes come down to luck.”
Paired with 2016 ARCA championship crew chief and team owner Chad Bryant for his sophomore season of competition, Graf Jr. says he taken the steps to ensure he’s ready for the battle ahead and believes the guidance of Bryant will continue to accelerate his learning curve in ARCA.
“During the offseason, I really started to work out hard and make some adjustments in my lifestyle to make sure I’m ready to do my part this year,” Graf Jr. added. “I know that Chad (Bryant) and the rest of the Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) team are going to do their best to bring fast race cars to the track and I need to make sure I’m giving the team more than 100 percent behind the wheel.”
Graf Jr. and the Mooresville, N.C.-based team participated in the two-day open test session at the 2.5-mile superspeedway in mid-January and while his No. 77 EatSleepRace.com Ford Fusion wasn’t at the top of the charts, the 20-year-old knows that this weekend is when speed and finesse count most.
“We learned a lot at the test,” he continued. “Chad and the guys made many adjustments during the two-day test and with every lap on the track we were gathering data to get back. We’ve made a lot modifications to our car since then and I’m eager to get on the track and see what we can do.”
As for his goals for his Daytona debut, Graf Jr. says he wants to earn his second career ARCA win – but also knows he’ll have to be realistic if that can’t happen.
“We all go to the track every weekend with the intention and goal to win,” Graf Jr. sounded. “We have the cars and people to win many races this year, we just need to see how the race pans out. If we don’t win and can leave Daytona with a top-10 finish – we’ll take that as a positive for the big picture.”
After joining CBR at the Daytona test, EAT SLEEP RACE, a racing lifestyle apparel company headquartered in New Jersey returns as the primary sponsor of Graf Jr.’s No. 77 Ford Fusion for the 80-lap race.
Since 2001, EAT SLEEP RACE has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men’s and ladies. As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts.
The company has expanded to now offer a dedicated children’s product line of apparel and accessories branded as the Fast Kids Club with it's hot selling ABC book for future race car drivers.
“It means a lot to me to continue my relationship with Eat Sleep Race at Daytona this weekend,” said Graf. “Being from New Jersey, we share a common bond and have great ideas on how we can enhance our partnership as the season rolls on. Looking forward to carrying their colors this weekend at Daytona!”
Bryant says Graf Jr.’s focus during the test and his approach to the impending season has the morale at CBR in a good place.
“We’re excited to have Joe for another season,” Bryant said. “He is so focused on going out there and succeeding, there doesn’t appear anything can stand in his way. We will continue to do our job as a team and support one another on and off the track and plan to have a great season starting at Daytona this weekend.”
In 19 ARCA races, Graf Jr. has one career ARCA win (Berlin Raceway, August 2018), six top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He earned a career-best qualifying effort of fourth at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May 2018.
For more on Joe Graf Jr, please like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.) and follow him on Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and visit his brand new website at JoeGrafJr.com.
For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace). Also, visit the new ChadBryantRacing.com.
The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 7 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 8 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 67th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 9 shortly after 4:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
NBC Sports Gold — NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer live streaming product — launched “INDYCAR Pass“ today, providing fans in the U.S. with one convenient location to watch live coverage of all NTT IndyCar Series qualifying and practice sessions, and Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires races, plus full-event replays of all NTT IndyCar Series races, and 15-30 minute race cutdowns of both series. “INDYCAR Pass” will provide 200+ hours of programming, including 50+ hours of coverage surrounding the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. It is available now until March 10 for an early-bird price of $49.99. The regular price is $54.99.
NBC Sports’ INDYCAR commentators Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, Paul Tracy and others will call all live streaming coverage on NBC Sports Gold, marking the first time that all NTT IndyCar Series qualifying and practice sessions will receive television-quality production, including timing and scoring. All qualifying and practice sessions will be streamed live on “INDYCAR Pass”, many on an exclusive basis. Some practice and qualifying sessions will be available on television either live or on delay. NBC Sports Gold will also feature INDYCAR archival and library content, and other motorsports shoulder programming.
For the Indianapolis 500, which NBC Sports will broadcast for the first time in its history on May 26, “INDYCAR Pass” will provide 50+ hours of streaming coverage surrounding the race, including qualifying, practices, Carb Day, the banquet, parade, and other shoulder programming.
“We’re excited about our partnership and could not be more thrilled to offer ‘INDYCAR Pass’ throughout the season,” said Portia Archer, Vice President, Direct-to-Consumer Services, NBC Sports Group. “‘INDYCAR Pass’ is a first-of-its-kind direct-to-consumer experience that will provide INDYCAR fans with high-quality coverage and unprecedented access to some of the circuit’s most exciting events, all in one easy-to-access location.”
“Having NBC Sports Gold as an option for INDYCAR fans who want to consume all of INDYCAR and engage more deeply with the sport is really exciting for us this year, particularly given the high-quality production NBC Sports will bring to it,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “This is our first opportunity to present the sport this way. INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold is a great complement to watching the NTT IndyCar Series on television, either on NBC or NBCSN. It really is another format that we think will make us that much more accessible and that much more exciting, especially to our hard-core fans.”
All INDYCAR Series races will be televised live on either NBC or NBCSN, and streamed live via authentication on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. For a full schedule, click here.
The 2019 INDYCAR season is the first under a new media rights agreement that was announced in March 2018 in which NBC Sports Group acquired the exclusive rights to all races – including the Indianapolis 500 for the first time – qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights across its numerous platforms. Click here for more information.
“INDYCAR Pass” is powered by Playmaker Media, NBC Sports Group’s end-to-end video support service for companies in need of best-in-class live streaming and VOD solutions.
NBC Sports Gold is available on Apple iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and online at NBCSportsGold.com.
Following is NBC Sports Gold’s “INDYCAR Pass” schedule:
|Streets of St. Petersburg||St Petersburg, Fla.||Practice – March 8-9 |
Qualifier – March 9
Indy Lights – March 9-10
|Circuit of the Americas||Austin, Tex.||Practice – March 22-23 |
Qualifier – March 23
Indy Lights – March 23-24
|Barber Motorsports Park||Birmingham, Ala.||Practice – April 4-5 |
Qualifier – April 6
|Streets of Long Beach||Long Beach, Calif.||Practice – April 12-13 |
Qualifier – April 13
|Indianapolis Motor Speedway/Road Course||Indianapolis, Ind.||Practice – May 9-10 |
Qualifier – May 10
Indy Lights – May 11-12; May 24
|103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis, Ind.||Practice – May 14-18 |
Qualifier – May 18
Carb Day – May 24
Red Carpet – May 26
|Streets of Belle Isle||Detroit, Mich.||Practice – May 30-31 |
Qualifier – May 31-June 1
|Texas Motor Speedway||Fort Worth, Tex.||Practice – June 6-7 |
Qualifier – June 7
|Road America||Elkhart Lake, Wis.||Practice – June 21-22 |
Qualifier – June 22
Indy Lights – June 22-23
|Streets of Toronto||Toronto, Ontario||Practice – July 12-13 |
Qualifier – July 13
Indy Lights – July 13-14
|Iowa Speedway||Newton, Iowa||Practice – July 18-19 |
Qualifier – July 19
|Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||Lexington, Ohio||Practice – July 26-27 |
Qualifier – July 27
Indy Lights – July 27-28
|Pocono Raceway||Long Pond, Penn.||Practice – August 16 |
Qualifier – August 17
|Gateway Motorsports Park||Madison, Ill.||Practice – August 22-23 |
Qualifier – August 23
Indy Lights – August 24
|Portland International Raceway||Portland, Ore.||Practice – August 30-31 |
Qualifier – August 31
Indy Lights – August 31- September 1
|WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca||Salinas, Calif.||Practice – September 20-21 |
Qualifier – September 21
Indy Lights – September 21-22
NBC Sports PR
The future has arrived for getting the ultimate in NTT IndyCar Series coverage. Fans may sign up now for INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, the direct-to-consumer livestreaming product that will put more INDYCAR programming content at viewers' fingertips than ever before.
INDYCAR Pass will provide livestreams of all NTT IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions throughout the 17-race season, featuring broadcast quality production and NBC Sports' INDYCAR talent to call the action. In addition, full-broadcast, same-day replays of NTT IndyCar Series races, livestreams of Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires races, edited cutdowns of NTT IndyCar Series and Indy Lights races and more will be available.
INDYCAR Pass will provide more than 200 hours of coverage throughout the 2019 season, including 50-plus hours focused on the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in May.
Subscribers who sign up now for INDYCAR Pass receive the full season for the early bird price of $49.99. That discounted cost remains in effect until March 10, the day of the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. After that, the price for the full season of INDYCAR Pass increases to $54.99.
"Having NBC Sports Gold as an option for INDYCAR fans who want to consume all of INDYCAR and engage more deeply with the sport is really exciting for us this year, particularly given the high-quality production NBC Sports will bring to it," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "This is our first opportunity to present the sport this way. INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold is a great complement to watching the NTT IndyCar Series on television, either on NBC or NBCSN. It really is another format that we think will make us that much more accessible and that much more exciting, especially to our hard-core fans."
INDYCAR signed NBC Sports Group to a multiyear agreement as the exclusive media rights holder for NTT IndyCar Series content in the United States, beginning this year. All series races will air live on NBC or NBCSN, along with NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app (via authentication), with commentators Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell, Paul Tracy and others calling the action. Those same race telecasts will be available on a same-day basis on INDYCAR Pass.
While some practice and qualifying sessions throughout the season will be televised live or on delay on NBC or NBCSN, all practice and qualifying in 2019 will stream live on INDYCAR Pass.
NBC Sports is broadcasting the Indianapolis 500 for the first time this year on Sunday, May 26. The more than 50 hours of May coverage in Indianapolis on INDYCAR Pass includes practices, the thrilling qualifying sessions to determine the field of 33 and pole winner, Miller Lite Carb Day, the IPL 500 Festival Parade and the Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration.
INDYCAR Pass will also be the home of Indy car archival and library content.
"We're excited about our partnership and could not be more thrilled to offer INDYCAR Pass throughout the season," said Portia Archer, vice president, Direct-to-Consumer Services, NBC Sports Group. "INDYCAR Pass is a first-of-its-kind direct-to-consumer experience that will provide INDYCAR fans with high-quality coverage and unprecedented access to some of the circuit's most exciting events, all in one easy-to-access location."
INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold is available on Apple iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and online at NBCSportsGold.com. Remember to sign up for INDYCAR Pass by March 10 to receive the discounted price of $49.99 for the entire 2019 season.
After working together in a collaborative effort during the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season, Rette Jones Racing (RJR) announced today that Spencer Davis (@SpencerDavis_29) has joined the Mooresville, N.C. organization and will compete for the series’ championship beginning with Sunday evening’s race at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.
The Dawsonville, Ga. native will steer the No. 30 Ford Fusion for 12 of the 13 K&N East Series this season – but for Sunday’s season-opener, RJR will adorn the No. 82 in recognition of Davis’ longtime support Danny Watts.
“I’m so excited to join Rette Jones Racing for the 2019 K&N East Series season,” said Davis. “I’ve gotten to know Mark (Rette, co-owner) and his team over the last eight months or so and not only are they hardcore racers – but they are determined to put a competitive winning race car on the track.
“Rette Jones Racing was valuable in helping to make my limited K&N schedule a success last year and now the chance to work together should bring not only bring strong results but an opportunity to win the K&N East championship. Can’t wait for New Smyrna this weekend.”
Davis’s efforts for New Smyrna will be supported by ALLPRO and Tower Sealants.
ALLPRO Corporation is a business-to-business purchasing cooperative comprised of a network of independently owned paint and decorating product retailers. They serve over 280 such member retailers who represent approximately 1,400 storefronts located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe.
Tower Sealants is a manufacturer of top-quality caulks and sealants. With the strong financial backing of M-D Building Products, Tower Sealants started construction of its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in September of 2005 and opened for business March 1, 2006.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to represent ALLPRO and Tower Sealants,” added Davis. “It’s always great to have new supporters for a new season. We’ve been working hard on our No. 82 ALLPRO | Tower Sealants Ford over the last few weeks and I feel like we can go to New Smyrna and contend for the win and get our season off to a fast start.”
Davis, 20, will make his fourth start at the half-mile oval. In his previous three outings, he finished second after starting second in 2016 driving for MDM Motorsports. Overall, the Georgian has one top-five and three top-10s including a sixth-place result last February. He has led 50 laps at the track and has an average start of fourth.
“New Smyrna is a track that fits my driving style,” sounded Davis. “It’s a track where I feel like rhythm is important and you just need to be able to get back in the gas in the corners to propel you forward on the frontstretch. I think we’ll be in a good position when we unload for practice because Mark (Rette) knows what I’m looking for. Hopefully, we can have a strong practice – earn the pole and give it our all during the race.
“It would be awesome to give Rette Jones Racing their first K&N victory on Sunday night.”
Rette, the 2009 ARCA champion crew chief is thrilled about the chance to work with Davis under one banner.
“I’ve been looking forward to New Smyrna for the last month or so,” he said. “Spencer is a talented race car driver and I think he’ll bring a new wave of energy to our team and we legitimately should be a factor for the championship.
“Being excited about the season is an understatement.”
Rette Jones Racing and Davis have plans outside of K&N this season and will make a further announcement(s) in the near future.
In addition to ALLPRO and Tower Sealants serving as the title marketing partners for the opening round of the season, Rette Jones Racing also welcomes Horton Ave. Materials, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement, Ford Performance, JRI Shocks, Huntilar Corp. and Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems as associate marketing partners for the first short track race of 2019.
RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.
In 32 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts, Davis has earned one victory (Dominion (Va.) Raceway 2016), two poles, achieved 14 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes. He has also 224 laps led in event competition.
Davis also has five NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) starts to his credit – all in 2018 driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). He earned two top-10 finishes including a career-best of seventh in his series’ debut at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
The K&N East 150 (150 laps | 72 miles) is the first of 13 races on the 2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. An optional practice run is open for teams on Saturday, February 9 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Official practice begins for the one-day show on Sunday, February 10 from 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in from 3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:05 p.m. The event will take the green flag just after 7:30 p.m. that night. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network with a to-be-announced time and date.
For more information on Spencer Davis, please check out his Facebook page (Spencer Davis Racing) or on Instagram @spencerdavis_29.
Davis tweets too. Follow him @SpencerDavis_29.
The latest on Rette Jones Racing is available at RetteJonesRacing.com, the team’s Facebook page or Twitter @RetteJones30.
DGR-Crosley heads to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway this weekend for the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards season opener. The team will field two entries in Saturday's Lucas Oil 200; the No. 4 Frontline Enterprises Toyota Camry driven by Todd Gilliland and the No. 54 N29 Technologies Toyota Camry for Natalie Decker.
Both Decker and Gilliland will head to Daytona with confidence after a successful pre-season test last month. For 18-year-old Gilliland, this will be his first time racing on the famed two and a half mile track in Daytona, Fla. He has six previous ARCA Racing Series starts where he's put together an impressive resume. Gilliland is the youngest driver to win an ARCA Racing Series event after being victorious in his series debut at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway at the age of 15. In his six races, he has one win, three top-five and five top-10 finishes. He also has collected one General Tire Pole Award which occurred at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway last season.
Decker is no stranger to the ARCA Racing Series. The 21-year-old Eagle River, Wis. native, raced full-time in the series in 2018 as well as taking on a part-time schedule in 2017. This time last year, Decker won the General Tire Pole Award at Daytona International Speedway before going on to collect a career-best fifth-place finish. In 27 ARCA Racing Series starts, she has two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes with an average finishing position of 12th-place. Decker will have veteran crew chief Frank Kerr calling the shots from the pit box for the General Tire 200, and Cup Series spotter Kevin Hamlin on the spotter stand.
The Lucas Oil 200 will be broadcast live on FS1 beginning at 4:30 p.m., ET on Saturday, February 9.
DGR Crosley PR
Following CrowdStrike’s major announcement of its enhanced sponsorship of SRO Motorsports America’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America series, the cybersecurity company and its CEO and co-founder, George Kurtz, will partner with DXDT Racing to campaign the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the 2019 season. Kurtz, the 2017 GTSA class champion of the series previously known as the Pirelli World Challenge, will step up from the GT4 class to race in the GT class, the top tier of this production-based sportscar championship, for the first time. He’ll again partner with the all-star driver Colin Braun for a series of seven races in North America.
Also new for the season will be the introduction of driver CJ Moses. He will race the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 prepared by Global Motorsports Group (GMG) at select races, continuing a valuable relationship with the successful team that Kurtz raced with for the past two seasons and which helped him clinch the 2017 GTSA championship. Moses has been an ever-present partner of the CrowdStrike Racing program for the past year, an esteemed speaker at the company’s cybersecurity summits, and a sportscar racer for 14 seasons and counting.
The announcement of CrowdStrike’s expanded team and driver lineup comes just after the cybersecurity company and SRO Motorsports Americas increased its series-level partnership, with the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection continuing its status as the Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider for the series for the second year running. CrowdStrike will again host its successful CXO Summits at key race events, bringing together luminaries in the cybersecurity industry to meet and discuss the most pressing issues faced by C-level executives.
Kurtz and Braun raced a CrowdStrike Racing Audi R8 in the GT4 class for a full season with GMG in 2018, where the duo earned four top-five finishes at premier racetracks across the United States and Canada. For the 2019 season, the pair will switch to the powerful DXDT Racing-prepared Mercedes-AMG GT3. Kurtz and Braun join DXDT’s David Askew and Ryan Dalziel, two experienced drivers who have already honed their racecraft with the Mercedes-AMG machine.
The move up to GT racing is a natural progression for the serial entrepreneur and business leader Kurtz. This year he’ll embark on his third full season with this series and his seventh consecutive year of sportscar competition, which includes two class victories at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance event, a GTSA class championship, and racing experience with McLaren, Aston Martin, Audi, and now, Mercedes — the marque that won the Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain GT Endurance Cup title last season.
“Racing is something I love, and by its very nature, it is a place where pushing yourself to the next level is part of the landscape,” said Kurtz. “Moving up to the GT class with Mercedes is a logical progression, and DXDT Racing is well-prepared to support our 2019 campaign. Having Colin as my co-driver, plus Ryan and David as our teammates, is really exciting. Our existing relationship with GMG and Audi will continue, of course, with CJ’s commitment to their very talented team. I look forward to expanding the CrowdStrike brand within these two teams and again at the series level. Many thanks to sponsors Amazon Web Services, Security Innovation Network, Accel and Ceramic Pro for their partnership.”
Braun, who was recently named the IMSA Prototype Driver of the Year in Sportscar365’s Double Stint podcast, will continue to dedicate part of his successful sportscar career to the CrowdStrike racing effort in addition to running a full season in IMSA’s DPi category. His skillful maneuvers on track while partnered with Kurtz last year attracted plenty of positive attention from fans and competitors alike.
“I am really looking forward to the season with George, CrowdStrike and DXDT Racing,” said Braun, “and I’m excited to be part of George’s continual move up the racing ladder. Getting to co-drive alongside him in all the races and continuing to help him grow will be a lot of fun. Last year, entertaining the CrowdStrike guests let me see the fascination of racing through their eyes, which was really special. I’m sure 2019 will be no different. Having Ryan as a teammate will be great. We’ve driven together in the past and have been friends for a long time. I got to see what the DXDT Racing operation was like being in the same paddock in 2018, and both George and I were impressed. They are a really professional operation that I can’t wait to be a part of — bring on COTA!”
The team preparing the Kurtz/Braun Mercedes-AMG GT3 machine is DXDT Racing, a rapidly-growing race group out of Utah. DXDT Racing made its endurance debut of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in last season’s California 8 Hours race, taking second place in the Pro-Am class, and also counts a Lamborghini Super Trofeo series championship among its successes.
David Askew, DXDT Racing team owner and driver, is eager to support Kurtz’ foray into GT-level racing in 2019.
“My first priority is to field the best possible car for George and Colin,” Askew said. “I always want them to feel that DXDT Racing put them in the best possible position to win. To that end, DXDT has its work cut out for us, but I know we are up to the challenge. I feel like this is the year for DXDT to showcase what it is capable of. We have great people, some who have been at DXDT for almost four years. It’s time to get it done!
“It has been my dream to become both a driver and a team owner,” Askew said. “I’ve had multi-car teams in the past but have not driven much due to the demands of managing the team. The past year was spent deepening the management bench so I can return to a full-time driver role. I really just want to be told what to do! My goal has also been to become a competent AM endurance driver, meaning I can hold my own for the team. I’m so excited to drive with Ryan and work with George Kurtz and Colin Braun. My hope, and my feeling, is the two teams will complement each other.”
Scottish driver Dalziel has established a track record of success for himself in North American sportscar racing, having won the 2018 Pro/Am Sprint X Championship while balancing multiple top-tier racing series commitments. There’s no doubt he’ll continue to impress with DXDT Racing.
“It was great to see CrowdStrike as a series sponsor and even better to now have them as part of our DXDT Racing family as well,” Dalziel said. “We successfully ran as a one-car team with a second-place finish in the California 8 Hours, so stepping up to a two-car team will be a great benefit, particularly with George and Colin. We should be able to develop our Mercedes-AMG GT3s even quicker on race weekends. As a team, it’s also a cool moment to see DXDT becoming one of the premier teams for 2019.”
CrowdStrike continues its involvement in GT4 with GMG, but with a new driver — and sponsor. Moses will compete in selected GT4 races in 2019. Moses brings both years of racing experience and a boost from Amazon Web Services (AWS), now the Official Cloud and Machine Learning Provider of the series and the title sponsor of the Pirelli GT4 Challenge at Long Beach, to the race paddock.
Since experiencing early success in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in 2005, Moses has never stopped racing. He earned the SCCA National Championship as crew chief of a Touring 2 team in both 2010 and 2011. In 2012 and 2013, Moses earned the series’ Divisional Championships and Driver of the Year Awards. In 2019, he’ll compete in four key Pirelli GT4 America events: St. Petersburg, Long Beach, VIRginia International Raceway and Watkins Glen International.
“I’m honored to be joining George Kurtz driving for CrowdStrike Racing with GMG,” said Moses. “We have an exciting season of CXO Summits planned for our esteemed guests and I look forward to continuing the team’s winning ways as I take the step up to the Pirelli GT4 America series.”
In addition to being a highly regarded speaker at CrowdStrike’s cybersecurity summits, Moses was a team guest in the GMG paddock throughout 2018 when the renowned team swept an incredible three series championships. This further increased Moses’ excitement to carry the CrowdStrike and AWS banner with driver and team owner James Sofronas this season:
“We’re glad to see CJ step into the driver’s seat with us this year,” said Sofronas. “He’s been a positive part of our race paddock for a while now and we’ve all learned that his passion for racing runs deep, so we’re confident he’ll be a real asset to the team. The whole crew welcomes him to the CrowdStrike/AWS/GMG Racing Audi R8 effort.”
CrowdStrike, the award-winning, Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity company is the Official Internet and Cloud Security Provider of the SRO America Championships. For the second year in a row, the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection is defending the series’ valuable financial, health and business data from hackers and identity theft. CrowdStrike will continue to host preeminent cybersecurity thought leaders at its CXO Summits, further establishing the fast-growing company as a security leader in the business of racing and beyond. This year, a partnership with the Security Innovation Network (SINET) will introduce more of the world’s foremost innovators in the cybersecurity space to these CXO Summits, advancing the collaborative influence that has become a hallmark of CrowdStrike’s events.
In addition to the brand’s red falcon being placed on every racecar and driver’s suit in the championship, CrowdStrike, along with AWS, will co-sponsor the new GT Paddock Club. This new hospitality and business networking venue in the paddock will foster networking and camaraderie for other series sponsors, invited guests, GT race drivers and team owners. Series partners Pirelli and Purple Monkey Garage will also support the GT Paddock Club for the duration of the race season.
Finally, the second race of the season will be branded as the Pirelli GT4 America St. Petersburg 2019 presented by CrowdStrike. The Florida race will feature both GT4 racing and IndyCar’s season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg.
The parallels between cybersecurity and racing continue to grow. Driven by high performance, relying on defensive and offensive strategies, and harnessing the power of data at high speeds — CrowdStrike has proven itself to be a champion, both on and off the track.
The first race of the GT season will be at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, from March 1 to 3. The full schedule can be found at world-challenge.com.
Eight manufacturers are confirmed for Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli. The global GT3 series begins the schedule of five races on five continents in Australia at this weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and heads to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the California 8 Hours on March 29-30.
The recent confirmations of Ferrari and Honda following Nissan’s confirmation earlier in the week bring this year’s total number of full-season manufacturers to a record-breaking eight. They are joined on the grid by Audi, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.
Ferrari is fielding two 488 GT3 entries and registered to score points towards this year’s Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ championships beginning at this weekend’s opening round at Bathurst. Honda, meanwhile, has chosen to skip Bathurst in favor of beginning its 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge campaign at the California 8 Hours on March 29-30 when its new NSX GT3 Evo is homologated to compete for the first time. The same model will then contest the Total 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium), Suzuka 10 Hours (Japan) and season-closing Kyalami 9 Hour (South Africa).
Manufacturers are permitted to nominate a maximum of four cars per Intercontinental GT Challenge round, although only the two best-placed entries will score points towards the overall Manufacturers’ Championship. Drivers competing in all nominated entries will score points towards their respective overall championship while amateur drivers are also eligible for Bronze Drivers’ Championship points, subject to registration.
“The addition of seventh and eighth full-season manufacturers, and especially those of Ferrari and Honda’s standing, underlines the growing significance of the Intercontinental GT Challenge on the world stage,” said Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO. “A global championship featuring five of GT3’s biggest endurance races deserves a stellar entry list, and that is exactly what Intercontinental GT Challenge has assembled ahead of its fourth season.
“I am delighted that Ferrari and Honda have committed to the 2019 championship and cannot wait to see how they compare against the likes of Audi, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan and Porsche. Not since the days of the FIA GT1 World Championship has GT racing enjoyed such a high-profile global platform.”
Audi begins the defense of its Bathurst 12 Hour victory and Intercontinental GT Challenge Manufacturers’ title at Mount Panorama in Australia this Sunday, February 3. The event will be broadcast live on Intercontinental GT Challenge’s web site (www.intercontinentalgtchallenge.com) and Facebook page.
Audi will return to the California 8 Hours on March 29-30 having won at both previous events in 2017 and 2018. South African driving ace Kelvin van der Linde was a winning co-driver on both occasions. Eight manufacturers will field GT3 entries with additional GT4 and TCR entries on the grid.
Tickets, camping and VIP hospitality for the Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours are available by visiting www.WeatherTechRaceway.com or calling 831-242-8200. Fans can save on all eight premier events on the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca schedule with a 2019 Season Pass.