LAYNE SCHRANZ AND THE GECKO BREAK RECORD AS PIKES PEAK GETS UNDERWAY
Player Management International Media Release
Colorado Springs, CO (August 8, 2012) – Colorado has endured a challenging summer to this point. In the wake of the destruction left by the Waldo Canyon Fire, and the horror of the shooting in Aurora, this week has brought some much needed energy and excitement to the Centennial State with the 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb finally getting underway.
After the wildfire caused the postponement of the second oldest race in America, Sunday August 12th, will now see the field set sail for the top of America’s Mountain. Approximately 200 competitors from all over the world converged on the Colorado Springs area this week for the beginning of what racers refer to as ‘Peak Week’.
Veteran GEICO Racing driver, and local favorite, Layne Schranz, will be competing for the 19th time in an event that is often regarded as one of the most dangerous races in the world. If Schranz fears facing his mortality on the mountain, one can’t tell given the numbers posted by the Colorado native. He was the 1997 Pikes Peak Hill Climb Rookie of the Year and, aside from winning the 2000 Pikes Peak Hill Climb ASA division as a driver for GM Racing, Schranz has visited the podium in seven of the last eight years.
A year ago, Schranz narrowly avoided peril when he lost his brakes at over 100 miles per hour during his trip up a mountain that extends 14,110-feet in the air. He quickly collected himself, and his #7 GEICO Chevrolet, and went on to shatter the previous course record by 11-seconds.
This week, Schranz quickly acclimated himself to his surroundings and today made his qualifying attempt for Sunday’s race. His run at the history books continued when he took the GEICO gecko for a ride that set a new Pikes Peak International Hill Climb qualifying record. Schranz navigated the qualifying phase of the mountain in just 4:18.966, turning heads and raising the bar for fellow competitors.
Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Schranz has made his home in Birmingham, Alabama since 2001.
“I’m happy to be back home in Colorado and today was very exciting for our program. To come back here and set the new course qualifying record is great not only for our team, but also our sponsor, GEICO,” Schranz said with a smile standing next to his green and blue #7 GEICO Chevrolet Impala. “It’s also been nice to be able to express my support and gratitude to the heroic firefighters and emergency personnel who risked so much to protect the city. At the same time, my heart is heavy for the families and friends affected by the shooting in Aurora. These terrible events remind all of us that there’s more to life than racing. I’m so grateful for the privilege to represent GEICO and my other great sponsors in the hill climb, and I’m equally appreciative of my friends and family who have supported me.”
Once the roar of the engines is silenced and the mountain quiets, 30,000 people will descend upon downtown Colorado Springs for Fan Fest on Friday evening, August 10th. Schranz will be on-hand with his #7 GEICO Chevrolet to sign autographs, take photos and talk with fans.
The 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is on Sunday, August 12th, with live race coverage being broadcast online at: www.ppihc.com.
This will be the 19th year that Schranz makes the trek up the 12.42-mile racecourse, and the fourth year that GEICO and the Gecko will tag along for the ride. Since climbing aboard the #7 car of Schranz in 2009, GEICO has yet to finish lower than second. Pikes Peak is the second oldest motorsports race in America and presents competitors with thin air and 156 twisting turns before arriving at the Summit. What it also provides is the opportunity for Schranz to continue etching his name in the history books.
There is no other race like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which is why it attracts race crews from around the world that are willing to spend several hundred thousand dollars and months of preparation to compete for the right to be ‘King of the Mountain’.
For more information about Layne Schranz and the GEICO Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Racing program, please visit: www.LayneSchranz.com
Please also visit the official Layne Schranz Facebook page: www.facebook.com/layneschranzracing
For more information about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, please visit www.ppihc.com