Paddock: “I dream of trying a single-seater”, admits Georges Grün

Dyears in the past, Georges Grün has worn a helmet a few times to compete in the 2CV 24 Hours or VW Fun Cup events. At 59, the world of motorsport continues to fascinate him.

Where did your interest in motor racing come from?

I have known the D’Ambrosio family for ages. At the end of the 90s, when Jérôme started to shine in karting, his dad often asked me if I could take him to train. I was done with my career, I had free time. So on Wednesdays, we loaded Jérôme’s kart into my Renault Espace and took the road to Mariembourg or Genk. Subsequently, I continued to follow him. In particular, I remember going to encourage him at the Turkish Formula 1 Grand Prix. It was his fourth race with the Marussia team. My wife and I had been particularly well received.

Are you an attentive Grand Prix viewer today?

If I get the chance, I watch. But I am not planning my Sunday afternoon according to Formula 1. Without Jérôme on the starting grid, it no longer has the same interest for me.

Did you get interested in Formula E then?

Not at all. It is not a discipline that attracts me. We don’t have the hairs that stand on end when we watch an electric single-seater race.

At the end of your career, we saw you in the 24 Hours 2CV and in the VW Fun Cup but you disappeared from the radar in motorsport. Why ?

I had covered the question. At the start of the Fun Cup, it was really cool. I spent wonderful weekends, especially when we were competing in France. The atmosphere was good-natured, the budgets were still reasonable. Over the seasons, this discipline has become more and more professional and the cost more important. It has become more complicated for me; it took a lot of time. Especially since I didn’t have a career plan. I read that Tom Boonen, for example, plans to compete in the 24 Hours of Francorchamps one day. Me, I did not pursue this kind of objective. I was driving just to have fun with my friends. And so much the better if we managed to sign a good result.

By your status, you have sometimes met professional pilots?

While participating in Télévie, I sometimes met Jacky Ickx but also Thierry Boutsen. Thierry is of my generation, I have always considered him a reference in motorsports. He and I have succeeded in making our sport a profession. Among the most impressive experiences I have had in a racing car, there is this co-driving next to Freddy Loix on a small road closed to traffic in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. If memory serves me well, he drove a factory Toyota Corolla like the one he raced in the World Rally Championship with. An incredible, terrible memory. Freddy was riding as hard as if he had been racing. It was a path with little hairpin bends in the forest. I could see he was in full control of the car, but I wasn’t really comfortable. I have always admired what the rallymen do, but since that day I am even more so. In another genre, I also took part in a regularity test in Mongolia. I was the co-driver of Jean-Paul Forthomme, a doctor from Mons who was well versed in rally-raids and we had to respect a precise average. A magnificent experience in sumptuous settings.

Have you never been tempted to drive a powerful car in an ideal context?

Yes. I admit that I would really like to drive a single-seater. Not an electric, please. But a machine with a very noisy engine to fully enjoy all the sensations that such a machine provides.

In your day, a lot of players bought spectacular and very powerful cars. Was that also your case?

Never ! It’s not my type. My first car was a Daihatsu Rocky. My first criterion was to have enough room to carry my large dog around. Subsequently, my most spectacular car was a Mercedes 300SL convertible. But no question of playing the idiot on the road. It is absolutely useless.

If I suggest you choose between a Mustang V8 and an Audi e-tron, what do you choose?

The Mustang, of course.

What if we offer to share a meal with a known pilot?

I would very much like to meet Thierry Neuville. I like his way of approaching his sport. He gives me the impression of being intelligent, of having my feet on the ground, of being humble. I’m sure I would have a great time with him and, again, I have immense respect for the rallymen. They are very talented people at the start but to reach this level of piloting, of mastery, what they had to work! I am sure that Thierry Neuville is no exception to the rule.

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