The ‘King of the Mountain’ makes late-week visit to GEICO headquarters to celebrate

Player Management International Media Release

Colorado Springs, CO (August 17, 2012) – When Layne Schranz and his GEICO team arrived in Colorado Springs for the 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, they were focused on redemption from a 2011 race that saw them break a record, but still depart America’s Mountain second best.  While hopes were high in the Challenger Racing camp, little did they know the amount of horsepower and speed buried beneath the hood of the #7 GEICO Chevrolet Impala.

Schranz, in his 19th year of competition at the mountain, managed to dominate the event from start to finish.  Even practice offered little resistance to the Colorado Springs native, as his name appeared at the top of the speed chart at the conclusion of each of the sessions.  His good fortune continued in qualifying when he shattered the previous course record by navigating the hair-raising circuit in just 4:18.966, rocketing the #7 GEICO Chevrolet straight to the top of the board.

While race day was met by clear blue skies, it would later be betrayed by winter-like conditions, causing the circuit to be shortened.  In what would ultimately end up being the longest day in the event’s 90-year history, hail, sleet, snow and rain took hold of the unsuspecting summit.  This served as little deterrence to Schranz, who piloted the #7 GEICO Chevrolet up Pikes Peak in just 4:21.290, setting a race record and earning him a win that calmed the fire that has burned inside of him for so long.  In his previous three visits in the #7 GEICO machine, he left the mountain with a second place trophy, but now, as 2012 Peak Week drew to a close, Schranz and the Gecko were departing the course with King of the Mountain status. 

After enduring a tragic summer, Colorado residents and race fans were able to bear witness to the fastest times laid down on the mountain since the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb got underway in 1916. 

“Wow, what a week.  It was like a dream come true,” Schranz said after completing his record-breaking trek up the mountain.  “I’ve never had such a fast car and I’m happy for GEICO and all of the guys on this Challenger Racing team who have worked so hard to get this #7 Impala into such great shape.  The GEICO car really worked flawlessly through the practice runs and excelled during the race.  I’m grateful for the support of the guys on our team, my family, GEICO and all of our other great sponsors.”  He continued, “I’m also appreciative of everyone at Germain Racing (GEICO’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team) who did so much to provide parts and technical support.  I appreciate the support of Casey Mears and everyone in that organization, especially Larry Rogers and Bootie Barker who spent a significant amount of time on the phone with me.  I’m glad they’re able to share in this win.”

Schranz capped off his victory week with a celebratory visit to GEICO headquarters where he was met with smiles and excitement.  After enjoying three hours with GEICO executives and marketing staff, he was off to begin preparing for his 2013 trip up the mountain. 

This was Schranz’s 19th year of competition at Pikes Peak and the fourth that GEICO and the Gecko tagged along for the ride.  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 14,110-feet in the air.

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