FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 20, 2022
CELEBRATING 30-YEARS OF RACING ON PIKES PEAK – AMERICA’S MOUNTAIN LAYNE SCHRANZ RETIRES FROM COMPETITION
Colorado Springs, Colorado – Layne Schranz was only nine months old when he first experienced the iconic Race to the Clouds on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. It was 1972, the 50th running of the race, when his father, Randy Schranz, made his rookie debut. Since then, fifty years have passed with family celebrations taking place on the mountain as both father and son notched division and class wins.
In June, Layne marked his 30th race on the famous mountain by taking part in the milestone 100th Running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo. Layne shared, “It was bittersweet to make my final run this year, but also the perfect time for me to retire from this great race. I have been on the mountain for every race since 1972 so we’ve enjoyed celebrating 50 years as a family on the mountain.”
Schranz began his racing career on Pikes Peak in 1993, the first year Quads were part of the competition. He gained valuable experience aboard his machine for three years. Sidelined with a broken ankle in 1996, Schranz roared back the following year, this time on four wheels in the Super Stock division and captured Rookie of the Year honors.
Over his 30-year motorsports career on Pikes Peak, Schranz stood on the podium 17 times, including four division or class wins. He recalled one particularly special year, “In 2013, Dad won and I placed 2nd in the Pikes Peak Open division.” Schranz chose Chevrolets almost exclusively, the one exception coming in 2018 when he raced his father’s 1966 Shelby Cobra. That same year, Randy Schranz was inducted to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Fame.
Throughout the 1990s and early decades of the 2000s, making a run to the summit in under 10 minutes was every racer’s dream. Schranz first laid down a sub-10 run in 2016 during an impressive performance. Proving it wasn’t a one-time thing, he bested 10 minutes again in both 2019 and 2020 with his best time recorded in 2019 as he covered the 12.42 mile course in 09:40.630.
It’s interesting to note that while many of his fellow competitors race at other venues, or in various series throughout the year, Schranz raced solely on Pikes Peak.
Some legendary PPIHC racing families lauded Schranz and his ability to compete well year after year. “Layne impresses me with how he shows up every year and stands on the gas after being out of the car for a year,” remarked PPIHC Hall of Famer Paul Dallenbach. “The Schranz family, to me, is what Pikes Peak is about.” Clint Vahsholtz who holds more division wins, by far, than anyone, shared, “Layne has been a very fierce competitor on Pikes Peak for 30 years – we will miss him at the summit.”
Dave Jordan, long-time start line flagman echoes that sentiment, “Layne is always a class act on the mountain, and a fierce competitor.”
But the accolades don’t stop there. Robin Shute, 2022 King of the Mountain, recalls, “I still remember Layne making me feel so welcome my rookie year. I loved watching him drive on the mountain, always flat out and probably sideways. How it should be!”
Schranz, obviously, is admired by his family as well, notably his cousin, Brian Anderson, a PPIHC motorcycle competitor and record holder who shared, “Layne is a highly competitive extension of the Schranz family racing legacy. His positive up-beat attitude during a most challenging week is amazing to witness. Layne is as gracious as he is hard working – always supportive of family, racers, volunteers and the network that makes it all happen.”
However, the impact that Schranz has had in the lives of competitors is felt beyond the race course. In addition to his 30-year career as a driver, Schranz has served as chaplain for the event for the past 20 years. In 2002, Hunter Floyd, also a former PPIHC competitor turned pastor, asked Schranz to assume the role of spiritual leader and head up the early morning race day church service on the mountain. Schranz has faithfully performed in that role, gathering with fans, race officials and competitors in a clearing near the start line for a heartfelt prayer service before the sun rises. In 2021, Schranz, in turn, approached Don Wickstrum, aka “Fastest Pastor” who was beginning to make his mark on Pikes Peak, offering him the long-standing role of chaplain, which Wickstrum eagerly assumed in 2022. Wickstrum recalled, “Layne embodies what makes the PPIHC so special. He leaves a legacy of tenaciously pursuing the mountain while caring for us racers.”
While competing and ministering with passion, Schranz has earned respect and built lasting friendships. James Clay, veteran PPIHC racer, talked about their friendship sharing, “I met Layne my first year on the mountain, and since then we’ve become both friends and competitors with a camaraderie rarely seen elsewhere, partially due to the Pikes Peak event itself, but largely due to Layne’s character as a person. He’s a fantastic part of this event, and I will miss running with him.”
Tommy Boileau, 2019 Rookie of the Year offered, “The name Schranz is not only synonymous with Pikes Peak, but success on Pikes Peak. To run this race one time is a feat, but to do it thirty times is borderline crazy! Layne is one of the kindest and most genuine people ever, and to compete alongside him and establish a friendship with him means the world to me. It was an honor to have shared the mountain.”
“Layne has a special place in all our hearts,” said fellow-competitor Dan Novembre. “I’ve watched Layne and his dad compete since the 1990s. They were some of my biggest inspirations as I dreamed of racing Pikes Peak as a local grassroots racer. I always looked for Layne’s time on the board first to see how close I was. I never could beat him! He was the first to let me know I had finished under 10 minutes in 2020 and was just so happy for me. That’s Layne – always looking out for others.”
ABOUT THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB
First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile (20 km) course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet (1,440 m), and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet (4,302 m) above sea level. The PPIHC’s six race divisions feature a wide variety of vehicles – from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles. The current race record was set in 2018 by Romain Dumas and Volkswagen in the all-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak – 07:57.148.
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