It takes a special performance to beat Ben Keating in a qualifying run but that’s what George Kurtz pulled off on the final lap of the qualifying session for the Motul Course de Monterey. It was Kurtz’s first pole position in IMSA and will be the best starting position for the No. 04 Crowdstrike Racing By APR ORECA 07 this season.
“We had some traffic as we got out, so I knew we had more pace and we just needed the traffic to clear up a bit and got that last-lap magic and got it done,” Kurtz said. “It feels great to be here. The Crowdstrike APR guys gave me a great car.”
Kurtz laid down his best time on his 11th and final lap of the session. With the team keeping him informed of the gap to first, Kurtz bided his time and waited for the traffic on track to dwindle down. A crucial part of that strategy was ensuring there was life in the Michelin tires once it was time to push.
“Tires have been pretty consistent with the harder compound for this track. There were a couple of laps that I aborted just to get more space because I was catching up to a few other cars. I had a little bit left in the tires. They were very consistent, and I think the harder compound probably helped that level of tire wear, balanced with the fuel level, to give us a great lap.”
Kurtz will be seeking his first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win since the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2021 where he won the race’s LMP3 class. He’s coming off a strong start to the GT World Challenge America season where he and co-driver Colin Braun have won two of the first four races of the season.