“Lazy at home throughout winter, this was not an option”

Jürgen Freiburg is an institution in the VLN. The meanwhile seven times class winner made his debut at the legendary Nordschleife in 1997, at his 30thanniversary, with a Scirocco 2. In 2007, he changed to a Corrado. VLN.de spoke to him before his return to the third VLN round with a completely new Corrado which he has thoroughly prepared during the last months.

Magazine story

How did this decision to rebuild the Corrado come about?
After the accident end of September, we looked at the damage on the following day. We asked ourselves, how shall we continue? Do we feel like preparing a new car, how should it look like? We quickly agreed that this would be a nice hobby. So we took the decision right away on that Sunday afternoon to take that approach again. Two days later, our main sponsor who has been our partner since 2009, invited us to come to his place in Willich. As an additional motivation, he offered us a two-years contract. That gave us the possibility of a long-term planning. And our partner preferred another Corrado as the fans, the marshals and the media enjoy the car similar to the cult cars such as the Manta or the Calibra.

How did things go on from that point?
On the Sunday after the accident, a family from the neighbouring city of Hagen contacted me. They had a body already prepared for assembly and want to help us out. I looked at it on the Wednesday and then collected it on Thursday. On the Saturday, we had the long time ago planned end-of-season celebration with partners, friends and the team. I celebrated it all there and announced that we would continue. We would now only still miss a car. A colleague moved the body secretly in front of the closed barn door. At the end of my speech, I opened the door and said that we could now raise our glasses and get started. Everybody was so happy. One week later, we then started to work on the car.

What exactly was your motivation? You need to be a little crazy, or?
We are a private team. Nobody is earning any money in this. The atmosphere is very familiar and that is the point. We enjoyed doing this all together as a team. We have an unheated workshop and the winter in our area was long and cold. We couldn’t just say on Saturday evening around 8pm that we were now tired and din’t want to continue. At any time, we had the date of VLN race 3 in view. It was not an option for us to say we prefer to spend the winter lazy at home. I always saw the formation lap in my mind’s eye. And that was motivation enough to work one or several hours longer or to add a Sunday. This first lap will be a very emotional one for me.

What kind of a Corrado do you have now?
Previously, we had an model from 1988 in which we competed accident-free for ten years. The current one was originally built in 1993. By the way: This weekend, the Corrado clubs from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands will celebrate the 30thanniversary of this car. Everybody will be at the camping site at the Nürburgring. 140 Corrados have announced their attendance and they will also come and see us at the first race.

How much time have you invested?
I have expected this question, it is a common one at motorshows such as Essen where we exhibited for years, so I will be able to answer it. We have counted our own working hours up to the presentation. We came up to 1,100 hours. We had a pool of six persons working in the car in terms and in teams of two or three people, including me. Everybody had his own field.

Bilstein has prepared a special show for you…
We will stand in front of our garage at eleven o’clock and then put on the T-shirts with the inscription “Legends never give up” and with a photo of the car. We will also present the shirts in advance to one or another marshal or the security people which have accompanied us over the years to say thank you. The story came up as, before, they were the sponsor of an Aston Martin which suffered an accident. It was taped together, actually the pictures did not look nice. The head of marketing then said, we will now do exactly this, we will publish a headline in our magazine “Legends never give up” and show the ruined car.

You will do the 60thADAC ACAS H&R-Cup as solo driver…
It was Norbert Kraft’s own decision to quit. He has an own project. He has bought an M3 e30 some years ago from Peter Heinrich as group A car. So for the time being, I will take part as solo driver. That is quite ambitious, I will see how I will be able to manage. I have done this five times in the VLN in 2010 and I remember well that it is quite exhausting.