Layne Schranz 2018 Pikes Peak Hill Climb Race Day Run
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The 2018 PPIHC started off with an unexpected challenge. The GEICO Chevy SS was poised and ready for a run at the Pikes Peak Open record and a hopeful victory. With the addition of twin turbos in the off season the car would be faster than ever. On Friday afternoon before Peak Week in it's first on track test at PPIR the powerful V8 was showing signs that something was seriously wrong. Maybe a head gasket or something mechanical within the engine. The GEICO team went straight to work and pulled the engine to investigate. 7 broken pistons were discovered that evening. With the weekend underway new pistons couldn't be ordered until Monday and because of their custom nature would not be able to be made and installed in time for the race. Early Saturday morning Layne had a week changing discussion with his dad about using the famed 1966 Shelby Cobra that Randy had raced 14 times up Pikes Peak as a back up car. Randy was all for it so an entry change was submitted and approved by PPIHC to race the Cobra. The Cobra had not been started since it finished the 2014 PPIHC with Randy racing his 40th (PPIHC Record) and final race. The team quickly prepared the car and made some improvements by removing some key components from the Chevy SS and installing them into the Cobra. The team successfully made the improvements and were able to get the car to Technical Inspection on Monday on time. After the car was approved to race then it was time to wrap the car with the same look as the GEICO SS. Thanks to the quick, professional and great work of Ryan at Spectrum Auto Wrap the car was finished by 1:00am Tuesday morning just in time for the first day of practice. Layne quickly adapted to the new ride and was able to improve his times with each run each day. On Wednesday in qualifying Layne was 4th in class which put him 13th overall. On Thursday Layne was able to post the fastest time in the Open Class in the middle section of the mountain. The driver and car were now ready for the race after a final day of practice on Friday. Although the Cobra would not be as fast as the SS Layne was hopeful to be competitive enough for a podium finish with his highest goal to be breaking the 10 minute barrier again as he did in 2016. Unfortunately, as you see in this video, all hopes fell short when the engine broke two connecting rods just below 11 mile water station. Layne and the GEICO Team will be back in 2019 in the Chevy SS to make another run at the Pikes Peak Open record and win!