CrowdStrike Racing by APR has been in the thick of the lead fight in LMP2 from the very beginning of the 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona (27-28 January) and, critically, the team headed the class after six hours for a maximum points haul towards the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup.
George Kurtz took the #04 ORECA 07-Gibson away from third on the grid and into a fast, frantic LMP2 battle that featured several changes in the running order.
The fight was neutralised by a first-hour Full Course Yellow (FCY) and CrowdStrike Racing by APR led after the first pit stops, Kurtz keeping the #04 well inside the top five for the duration of a solid two-hour stint in stifling heat.
Efforts during the cool of ‘The Roar’ to tune the #04 machine to the forecasted high ambient and track temperatures are paying dividends, as drivers are comfortable in the car and tyre degradation is under control.
As a result, Toby Sowery made an instant impression on the class-leading #2 United Autosports USA entry once he stepped into the breach, but a misunderstanding meant he went a lap too long on his first tank of fuel and had to slow drastically to make it back to pit road.
Unflustered, the British racer recovered all lost ground, rising from seventh to second during the latter phase of his maiden double LMP2 stint before passing the baton to Malthe Jakobsen, who was locked in an epic dogfight for P1 with the #2.
Critically, CrowdStrike Racing by APR led LMP2 at the six-hour juncture to score a maximum five points towards its IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup tally, and it has since replaced Jakobsen with four-time Daytona victor Colin Braun.
George Kurtz (#04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2): “We had a good start to the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It was important not to push too hard at the beginning of my stint, which involved a lot of traffic management. It was certainly hot and greasy out there, but CrowdStrike Racing by APR did a great job setting the car up for the current conditions and I’ve been training hard for the hot cockpit temperatures. We were excited to get up into P1 and hold position for a while, and I think it was a solid two-hour run. We’ve got our heads down and are focused on knocking out the laps.”
Toby Sowery (#04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2): “This was my first ever double LMP2 stint and it’s nice to get that under my belt. While there are a few things here and there, I’m feeling positive and think we’re in a very good position. The #04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07-Gibson feels really nice and I think the conditions will come even further towards us during the night. Tyre degradation is good, we’re all feeling very comfortable in the car, we’re not having to take risks or push too hard, so I’m really happy.”