Colorado Springs, CO (April 10, 2012) – 2011 saw GEICO driver Layne Schranz narrowly avoid peril when he lost his brakes at over 100 miles per hour on a mountain that extends 14,110-feet in the air.  What it also witnessed was his recovery from the life-saving spin en route to a record-breaking journey that shattered the previous course record by eleven seconds.

Schranz’s passion for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and the mountain he grew up on leads you to believe that he has a figurative bumper sticker on his back that reads ‘Pikes Peak or bust…’  He will continue his pursuit of the famed mountain when he takes the green flag on July 8, 2012.

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.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Pikes Peak this year and working hard to be ‘king of the mountain’, so to speak,” Schranz said.  “Since GEICO’s been associated with us, we’ve had a pretty good run and have finished second every year.  That is good, but honestly, I don’t really care about second.  We as a team don’t spend the kind of money we spend and invest the sweat equity to finish second.  I don’t drive up a mountain that has 2000-foot drop-offs at over 100 miles per hour and risk my life just to finish second.  I know a couple of the executives at GEICO and I’m certain they share my perspective.”  He continued, “I appreciate the support of everyone at GEICO and everybody who has worked hard here at Challenger Racing to elevate our program to its current state.  We’re working diligently to make 2012 a winning year.”

When Schranz climbs into his #7 GEICO car on July 8th, he will not only receive the support of his expansive fan base, but also from GEICO’s NASCAR star, Casey Mears.  Mears’ father Roger has netted five wins at Pikes Peak and also served as a teammate of Schranz’s father, Randy, during the 1990’s.  Mears knows all too well the danger that looms at Pikes Peak.

“Every time I see Layne at the track, we always talk about Pikes Peak and the intensity of that race,” Mears said.  “I have a lot of great memories of that place and it’s fun to now have Layne as a GEICO teammate and support his effort at Pikes Peak.  All of the guys here at Germain Racing have gotten to know him and we wish him the best of luck.”

Commonly referred to as one of the top competitors at Pikes Peak, Schranz was the 1997 Pikes Peak Hill Climb Rookie of the Year and will be making his 19th trek up the mountain. 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.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest motorsports race in America and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region.  The race is run on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America’s Mountain; Pikes Peak!  As the drivers climb toward the summit, the thin air slows reflexes and saps muscle strength. The thin air also robs engines of 30% of their power at the summit. Competitors and vehicles must be in top shape simply to finish…let alone win!

There is no other race course in the world like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.  That is why it attracts race crews that are willing to spend several hundred thousand dollars and months of preparation to compete for the right to be the King of the Mountain.

For more information about Layne Schranz and the GEICO Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Racing program, please visit:
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