LONG BEACH, Calif. – Returning to their home track, located just a few miles north of their Santa Ana-based headquarters, Global Motorsports Group (GMG) would enjoy a solid three-day festival, entertaining a number of guests and clients as the organization demonstrated their ability to not only perform on track, but also with off-track hospitality and street performance as well. Returning for the annual Grand Prix of Long Beach, GMG and their two-car program of drivers George Kurtz and Alec Udell would show well, with Kurtz finishing the race third in class, and Udell qualifying on the second row.
“Long Beach is always one of our favorite venues, and we’re happy we could show our core capabilities to so many guests and fans,” stated GMG team owner James Sofronas. “With so little practice time, everyone showed remarkably. George had never been here prior, so to not put a foot wrong all weekend is a testament to his ability to drive clean. Alec was really fast, and we were happy to be the top Porsche qualifier against some really talented drivers and teams, and with a little different fortune it might have been a podium day for him. Overall the guys did a great job getting everything together, and I’m really proud of how smooth the operation went.”
Driving the No. 04 CrowdStrike Audi R8 LMS GT4, George Kurtz arrived on the scenic, 1.9-mile street circuit having never driven prior. With several guests on hand, the pressure was on to deliver a strong performance, and with unforgiving walls on all sides, the course offered no opportunity for a mistake. Driving with the maturity that earned him a series championship last year, a patient weekend would pay dividends, with not a single scratch put on his Audi all weekend, including avoiding chaos throughout Sunday’s race to take third in class.
“Racing at Long Beach was a bucket list item that I’ve now checked off my list!” stated Kurtz. “GMG did a great job preparing the Audi for me, so I had a fun, clean race and am really looking forward to our next one at Virginia International Raceway. On behalf of CrowdStrike and our guests, I’d like to thank to our Long Beach sponsors LaSalle Solutions, AWS and Ceramic Pro for being a big part of this spectacular PWC event.”
Driving the No. 41 LOCI / HKG Porsche 911 GT3 R, Alec Udell would arrive in the premier GT3 category with high hopes to deliver in front of his new sponsor in attendance. Performing strong throughout the weekend, the promise of Alec and his GMG machine showed in qualifying, when he would take fourth, but most notably top Porsche to start the race. Out-qualifying Porsche factory drivers and the series point-leader, Sunday’s race offered a lot promise for a podium performance, however all hope were dashed when lapping traffic during the first half of the race. While lapping slower-category GT4 traffic, contact would result in a penalty issued to the Clemson University Engineering student, forcing a stop-and-hold penalty for Alec and effectively eliminating any shot at a podium.
“I did two-thirds of my job in the race at Long Beach,” stated Udell. “The GMG team gave me a good car in the Loci Porsche and I was quick in it, but didn’t keep it completely out of trouble. I am obviously disappointed for the team, for Loci and for myself but I also want to apologize to Mike [Sullivan]. That was my fault and I am thankful that he is OK. Now we look forward and get ready for VIR. We have the speed with the Loci number 41 and I will do my whole job there.”
With two weeks to go until the next round of Pirelli World Challenge competition at the scenic VIRginia International Raceway, GMG will return with another multi-car campaign. Official practice will begin on Friday, April 27, with a double-header of racing on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29.
Founded in 2001 by James Sofronas, GMG has quickly established itself as North America’s premier performance tuning and racing facility. What began as a small 1,200 sq. ft. shop, maintaining two race cars, has grown into a 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art performance tuning, racing and service facility located in (Orange County) Santa Ana, California. The staff’s experience, attention to detail, and passion are what make GMG the choice of professionals and enthusiasts world wide. Whether you want to maximize the performance of your street car, or race wheel-to-wheel on both amateur and professional racing series across North America, GMG’s reputation for service and quality is unmatched.
Learn more at www.gmgracing.com
About The Thermal Club
Established in 2012, The Thermal Club is a private motorsports country club surrounding one of the longest and most distinct racing circuits in North America. Located near Palm Springs CA, the exclusive club offers members access to three racetracks, kart track, autocross, skid pad, tuning shop, garage, detail shop, clubhouse restaurant and spa. One of the defining attributes of The Thermal Club are the luxury villa-homes that are built next to the track and overlook the facility. For more information visit www.TheThermalClub.com.
Learn more at www.thethermalclub.com
About Mobil 1
Conventional oil is simply refined crude oil. Mobil 1 synthetic oil, however, is not only refined, but it is also distilled, purified, and broken down into its basic molecules. It is then rebuilt and added to, so that it can better protect against wear, high heat, cold weather and sludge buildup. Ultimately, this process helps your car’s engine run better for longer. You can explore more about these benefits below.
Learn more at www.mobiloil.com.
With an extensive client base of leading global brands, CrowdStrike will be utilizing the Pirelli World Challenge as a hub for experiential entertainment, B2B networking, and as a forum for meeting with a litany of customers, prospects and partners. Race weekends will include executive-level security industry roundtables, combined with VIP access to the most compelling aspects of each racing venue. With a premium on forging and solidifying relationships, the utilization of both the series and GMG offers a great opportunity for the company to extend their platform.
You can learn more about CrowdStrike’s involvement in motorsports at crowdstrikeracing.com.
Loci, a Northern Virginia based company is breaking down the barriers of innovation with blockchain technology. With LOCIsearch, their powerful and proprietary tool, inventors can search, stake, and sell their ideas.
John Wise, a former automotive engineer and now CEO of Loci, developed the ideas behind LOCIsearch directly from his experiences in the racing industry. Loci is working alongside traditional processes to increase opportunities for inventors and innovators across industries like racing. For more on Loci, please visit https://loci.io and on Twitter at @Loci_io.
About 5.11 Tactical
5.11 Tactical. 5.11 Tactical is an Irvine, California-based brand of clothing consisting of uniforms and tactical equipment for military, law enforcement and public safety personnel. The company also operates a chain of retail stores, with 13 locations as of January 2017.
Learn more at www.511tactical.com.
Spyder was founded by avid skier and outdoor athlete David Jacobs. He rose to world-class rankings as a competitive skier, and stayed connected to the sport he loves by coaching, designing related products, and building one of the most powerful brands in the industry. His dedication to the sport of skiing and the Spyder brand is as inspiring as it is intriguing. Spyder’s growth exploded over the turn of the century, and the company is now the largest ski-specialty brand in the world. David has recently discovered the adrenaline rush in racing classic Formula One cars, finding success – not surprisingly – in this new pastime. For a man who’s thrived on sports, technology, and professional advancement, the world is sure to see David go a few more times around the track.
Learn more at www.spyder.com