Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb news 2009-07-01

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GEICO TO SPONSOR LAYNE SCHRANZ IN THE 87TH PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB MAX PAPIS TO LEAD THE WAY IN THE PACE CAR Colorado Springs, CO (June 30, 2009) - Almost halfway through his first season as a NASCAR driver, Max Papis has...

GEICO TO SPONSOR LAYNE SCHRANZ IN THE 87TH PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB

MAX PAPIS TO LEAD THE WAY IN THE PACE CAR

Colorado Springs, CO (June 30, 2009) - Almost halfway through his first season as a NASCAR driver, Max Papis has been successful at his attempt to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series despite no previous oval experience in either of NASCAR's other top series'. A week ago, 'Mad Max' and the GEICO Racing team turned in their best finish of the 2009 season when they walked away from Infineon Raceway with a 12th place finish.

In just three weeks, Papis will go off-course (hopefully not literally) when he heads to Pikes Peak to lead the second oldest race in the world up the historic 14,110-foot mountain. Papis is passionate about the history of racing and attending Pikes Peak will only add to his legendary resume. Without doubt, his blood will be pumping when he slips behind the wheel of the pace car for the 87th Annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, July 19th.

Papis has wheeled around the top facilities in the world, including Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Le Mans. July 19th will find him touring an entirely different circuit, as Papis will be leading a 12.5-mile charge up a mountainside that presents 156 twisting turns on the way to the top.

Aside from GEICO driver Max Papis, GEICO will also serve as primary sponsor of the #7 racecar of Layne Schranz, one of the top competitors at the Hill Climb. Schranz, the 1997 Pikes Peak Hill Climb Rookie of the Year, will be making his 15th trek up the mountain. The winner of the 2000 Pikes Peak Hill Climb ASA division as a driver for GM Racing, Schranz has visited the podium in four of the last five years and is looking to give the Gecko a fast ride up to the clouds.

Schranz has been either a spectator or competitor on Pikes Peak for 37 consecutive years, so as a seasoned veteran he is looking forward to getting back to the place that has consumed nearly every July since his birth.

"It's exciting to have Max Papis coming to Pikes Peak to drive the pace car, and to be able to share his sponsor, GEICO, for this event makes it even more special," Schranz said. "We had a very successful test this week in the GEICO car and we're looking forward to giving them a great run during their debut appearance here in Pikes Peak." He continued, "On Saturday, the day before the race, Max and I are going to take a ride to the top of the mountain, so it'll be really cool to spend time with a guy who has accomplished so much in this sport and who is a true champion. I can't thank GEICO enough for this opportunity."

Commonly referred to as the most versatile racecar driver in the world, Papis has raced nearly everything that sits on wheels. While most drivers of his caliber would shudder at the thought of traipsing up the side of Pikes Peak, the 2004 Grand-Am champion eagerly awaits the opportunity.

"We've been doing well and accomplishing our goals in the GEICO NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car this year, so it'll be fun to do something else to bring exposure to the GEICO Racing program," Papis said. "Pikes Peak is a historic event that people all over the world want to either go to or participate in. I've raced in Indy, Le Mans and now to be able to drive the pace car for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb is exciting. It's really special. I'll also be cheering on my GEICO teammate Layne Schranz as he tries to get another win there."

The event's popular "Fan Fest," on Friday, July 17, presented by Budweiser on Tejon, Bijou and Platte in Downtown Colorado Springs, will include seven blocks of entertainment from 5:00-10:00 p.m. for the public to enjoy.

On the scene will be the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales, a chance to meet the drivers and racers, view their cars and motorcycles, music with live local bands, a Firefighters Chili Cook-Off, food and refreshments, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb's Mobile Museum, a merchandise and race ticket booth, displays of custom cars and motorcycles, and stuff for kids like Freestyle Motocross Jumping exhibitions.

On the scene will be the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales, a chance to meet the drivers and racers, view their cars and motorcycles, music with live local bands, a Firefighters Chili Cook-Off, food and refreshments, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb's Mobile Museum, a merchandise and race ticket booth, displays of custom cars and motorcycles, and stuff for kids like Freestyle Motocross Jumping exhibitions.

-credit: www.ppihc.com

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Series HILLCLIMB