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CrowdStrike Racing by APR backs up Le Mans triumph with measured IMSA victory at The Glen

CrowdStrike Racing by APR scaled the top step of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship rostrum with George Kurtz, Nolan Siegel and Ben Hanley, following a measured run to victory in the 2023 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (23-25 June).

The win at the historic Watkins Glen International circuit backs up Algarve Pro Racing’s landmark 24 Hours of Le Mans triumph (11-12 June) and notably propels the squad to the head of the LMP2 Drivers, Teams and Michelin Endurance Cup standings.

The starting order of the Six Hours of The Glen was ultimately determined by the overall championship classification after Qualifying was abandoned due to heavy rain, which struck the track just as the joint LMP2-LMP3 session went green on Saturday (24 June) afternoon.

CrowdStrike Racing by APR subsequently lined up fourth on the LMP2 grid, but Kurtz got a clean launch and found a way up into the podium places on the very first racing lap of the 3.4-mile, 11-corner Watkins Glen circuit, and, following an early Full Course Yellow (FCY), he progressed to P1 in class.

A captivating tussle between CrowdStrike Racing, the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsport, #8 Tower Motorsports and #11 TDS Racing cars was brewing nicely, until an incident involving all three of the chasers caused a second FCY.

Many LMP2 teams boxed at the first available opportunity and, although the #88 AF Corse entry snatched P1 in the pits, Kurtz clung onto his rival’s coattails and made a pass for the lead just before completing his minimum drive-time and giving way to INDY NXT championship leader Siegel.

CrowdStrike Racing had re-established itself at the top of LMP2, and Siegel’s speed and consistency was such that his pursuers were unable to get within three seconds of him.

Critically, the #04 crew earned five Michelin Endurance Cup points for leading in class when the Six Hours of The Glen reached half-distance, putting it level with the #52 PR1 squad at the top of the standings.

Soon after, a fourth-hour FCY wiped out CrowdStrike Racing’s advantage, but it also provided an opportunity to plug in Hanley, who led out of the pits but was deposed by the #18 Era Motorsport car shortly after green-flag racing resumed.

British Pro Hanley put the hammer down and his superior pace ensured CrowdStrike Racing by APR held sway after the final fuel and tyre stops, bringing the #04 car home to a calculated victory that backs up Algarve Pro’s 24 Hours of Le Mans success.

The victory means CrowdStrike Racing by APR now sits proudly atop the IMSA LMP2 Drivers and Teams classifications with a tally of 973 points, and it also leads the Michelin Endurance Cup on 30 points.

Ben Hanley (#04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07 LMP2): “The main thing is that we have gone to the top of the IMSA LMP2 and Michelin Endurance Cup standings,” said Hanley. “We can’t forget that this CrowdStrike Racing by APR programme came together quite late and we haven’t managed to get out and do any collective test days yet. That makes this win in the IMSA Six Hours of The Glen even sweeter.

“CrowdStrike Racing by APR did a great job to put us in the window straight away, even though we had mixed conditions in free practice and a very limited opportunity to see how things would play out across a race stint. We managed to nail it pretty well, and it’s positive that there are still things we can improve going forward because we’re still learning about the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Michelin tyres and the opposition.”

Nolan Siegel (#04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07 LMP2): “It has been an incredible journey since first stepping into an LMP2 car in February and I’ve loved every minute of it. It has been great to adapt this quickly to Le Mans Prototypes, and to win what is only my second LMP2 race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with a great team like CrowdStrike Racing by APR and great co-drivers in George (Kurtz) and Ben (Hanley) is amazing.

“Racing LMP2 equipment has been fantastic. Coming from open-wheeled cars, LMP2 prototypes are somewhat similar because both are light with a lot of downforce. I’ve enjoyed both INDY NXT and IMSA, and driving multiple cars and being forced to adapt to different circumstances has helped me grow as a driver. I’ve been learning a tonne, gathering a lot of experience and it has been a great season to this point.”

George Kurtz (#04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07 LMP2): “We knew we had a great car, a great team in CrowdStrike Racing by APR and a great driver line-up. We also had a good race strategy and the crew did some amazing work in the pits, and I’m delighted I was able to do the job and pass the car over to Nolan (Siegel) and Ben (Hanley) so they could do their thing. Overall, being smart, staying out of trouble and just doing what we needed to do helped us take the win.”

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