If the Miss GEICO team feels the pressure of renewing its sponsorship after the 2021—the final year of their current deal with the insurance industry giant—it’s definitely not showing. The team used the limited, three-race season to regroup and introduce new personnel to the cockpit, and though this season challenged the entire sport Miss GEICO didn’t waste a precious minute of it.
Drivers Brit Lilly and Travis Pastrana logged seat time in race conditions during the Offshore Powerboat Association Crystal Coast World Championships in Morehead City, N.C., last weekend. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
After spending the latter half of the 2019 season rebuilding and re-rigging their 47-foot Victory catamaran after a crash at the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix followed by a total absence of races this year until September and October, the team made the most of its limited opportunities. Next to dialing in the heavily renovated raceboat, the team imperative was getting seat-time for new-for-2020 Miss GEICO drivers Brit Lilly and Travis Pastrana in the cockpit with throttleman Steve Curtis. And though everyone involved would have appreciated more seat time for both drivers, they accomplished that fundamental goal.
“We are eagerly looking forward to next season, having just ended this abbreviated season with success by all of our measures,” said Gary Stray, the Miss GEICO’s crew chief. Along with the rest of the teams and the public, we remain prudently optimistic for an easing of issues related to COVID-19. We look forward to welcoming our foreign competition back to the United States—we miss them. It is my hope and expectation that we can pick up in 2021 where we left off with the Class 1 fleet.
“Miss GEICO’s current cockpit lineup in Steve Curtis, Travis Pastrana, and Brit Lilly, represents a tremendous amount of depth in talent and we don’t expect to make any changes to that,” he added. “Of course, there will be discussions about scheduling, availability and things of that nature. At this stage, everyone is pleased with the status quo.”
(From left) Lilly, Stray and Pastrana, as well as the entire Miss GEICO team, departed the Morehead City event encouraged for the 2021 season. Photo by Coleman McGowan copyright Miss GEICO.
Late this month, the team will run the 47-foot Miss GEICO catamaran in the Fort Lauderdale Air Show, which is not far from its home in Riviera Beach, Fla. Neither driver Brit Lilly nor Travis Pastrana will join the team for that event. They will, however, begin practicing and testing with the team in early 2021.
“As has been demonstrated throughout the 2020 season, enthusiasm has not dimmed among Miss GEICO’s fans and followers,” said Scott Colton, a managing partner in the Miss GEICO owner’s group that includes Scott Begovich, Gary Goodell, Marc Granet and Stray. “We are extremely fortunate to have such a strong contingent of loyal supporters, despite a shortened season.
“Looking ahead, the overseas-based teams are keen to rejoin the championship here for the entire 2021 season” he continued. “The Miss GEICO team relishes the opportunity to once again race against our foreign competitors in the championship that was meant to take place this year. The 2021 season will be one of opportunity for Miss GEICO, and for Class 1 as a whole.”