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algarve pro racing

Resilient CrowdStrike Racing by APR bounces back to maiden Asian Le Mans Series win at Sepang

CrowdStrike Racing by APR showed resilience by fighting back to a maiden Asian Le Mans Series victory with skilful driving from George Kurtz, Colin Braun and Malthe Jakobsen, and a perfectly executed strategy in the second 4 Hours of Sepang (1-3 December).

The team failed to optimise Saturday’s four-hour season-opener, which was curtailed by torrential rain, and it was left feeling underwhelmed with the #4 CrowdStrike entry of Kurtz, Braun and Jakobsen finishing sixth, and the #25 Algarve Pro Racing car of Chris McMurry, Freddie Tomlinson and Toby Sowery eighth. 

However, the team regrouped brilliantly in the second 4 Hours of Sepang on Sunday (3 December), CrowdStrike Racing by APR putting on a flawless display both on the track and in pit lane. 

In a charging drive, the #4 crew passed the #90 TF Sport and #3 DKR Engineering cars in a protracted and entertaining multi-car tussle, before overhauling the #99 99 Racing on strategy. 

Rapid reactions to incidents and Safety Cars repeatedly bolstered CrowdStrike Racing’s lead during the second half of the race, and it went on to seal a momentous Asian Le Mans Series win, with Algarve Pro’s McMurry and LMP2 debutants Tomlinson and Sowery acquitting themselves well and coming home ninth.

George Kurtz (#4 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2): “We bounced back from a rough time in the first race to take CrowdStrike Racing by APR’s maiden Asian Le Mans Series victory here at Sepang. The team showed resilience and gave us a fast car, and we all produced great drives that put us in a position to win.

“To be able to regroup and bounce back when things don’t go your way is a sign of a top class team. We simply got our heads down and everyone did their jobs perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier with the performance and resiliency. We showed up to win a title and we’ll see what we can do in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but a win at Sepang is a good start in the right direction.”

Colin Braun (#4 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2): “The result in the first race wasn’t quite what we had planned, but victory in the second race is exactly what we hoped for and it was a great performance by CrowdStrike Racing by APR, George (Kurtz) and Malthe (Jakobsen). The team gave us a really fast car and we executed brilliantly. It was great to bounce back so strongly.”

Malthe Jakobsen (#4 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2): “It’s my first race weekend with CrowdStrike Racing by APR, and with George (Kurtz) and Colin (Braun) as my teammates, and we have all done a super good job. It’s true that the first race didn’t go as planned, but we came back stronger and jumped forward with a win in the second race at Sepang, and I believe this will put us in a position to fight at the top in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.”

Chris McMurry (#25 Algarve Pro Racing ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2): “Firstly, congratulations to the team for picking up a win with the #4 CrowdStrike Racing by APR car. For our #25 crew, we fared well considering Freddie (Tomlinson) and Toby (Sowery) are completely new to LMP2 racing and it has been five years since I gave it a go. We had a fueling mishap in race one and a penalty in race two, and without each we would have finished mid-pack. It speaks to our potential and would have been quite a result in a field stacked with Am drivers with tremendous recent experience at this level, and some of the best Pros on the planet.”

Freddie Tomlinson (#25 Algarve Pro Racing ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2): “It has been an amazing experience and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone within Algarve Pro Racing over the course of the Asian Le Mans Series 4 Hours of Sepang weekend. I learnt millions of little things, because racing an aero car like the ORECA 07 against such high-calibre drivers is very different to what I’m used to in GTs. I worked closely with APR’s engineers and took some big steps. In fact, Toby (Sowery), Chris (McMurry) and I found a lot of pace while also getting to understand the processes and procedures within Asian Le Mans. I believe there’s a lot to build on in the remaining rounds in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.”

Toby Sowery (#25 Algarve Pro Racing ORECA 07-Gibson LMP2): “So that’s my first weekend in Le Mans Prototypes done. It has been a steep learning curve but a successful one. It was fun carving through GT3 and LMP3 traffic in both Asian Le Mans Series races at Sepang and I’m also happy with my performances in the car, my rate of progress over the course of the weekend, and with how I’ve integrating into the Algarve Pro Racing team.”

Algarve Pro Racing Team Principal, Stewart Cox, said: “Mistakes were made as a team in Round 1 of the Asian Le Mans Series on Saturday and we take ownership of that, but I’m proud that we regrouped, got our heads down and executed perfectly throughout the second race on Sunday, which is reflected in the end result. We were resilient, bounced back strongly and clinched the win, which puts is in with a shout of the title in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“All six drivers did great jobs; Chris (McMurry), Freddie (Tomlinson) and Toby (Sowery) all performed brilliantly and, baring in mind they finished as the best of the newcomers with little or no LMP2 experience, I’m very happy and impressed with what they’ve done. Toby was strong on his tyres and was as quick as the leaders, which gives us a solid foundation for the rest of the season.”

Cox added: “Having raced across the USA, Asia and Europe and done a lot of in-season testing as well, this year has taken a huge toll on the team and that may have influenced Saturday’s performance. However, we’ve shown we’re resilient and capable of pushing through to achieve big results. We’re now packing up and half of the team will head straight from Malaysia to Florida for two days of testing at Daytona ahead of the Rolex 24 next month, so the show goes on into 2024!”

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