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Interview Eifel race organizer Peter Geishecker: The professional race director

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Interview with Eifel race organizer Peter Geishecker
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Mr. Geishecker, how did you get into motorsport?

G eishecker: I have been enthusiastic about the topic since my youth, I have always been to the Driven the Nürburgring - the first race I attended there was the Eifel race. In the sixties I joined the Cologne sports driver association, in which Rolf Stommelen was also active at the time. After a year I was chairman and thought to myself, I'll do that for a year - and stayed for 15 years. During this time we organized a lot, such as the slalom in the market hall in Cologne, which was a DM run at the time. We also helped set up the Cologne-Ahrweiler rally and the season finale in Zolder for the German racing championship.

In addition to organizing, were you also actively involved in the steering wheel yourself?

Geishecker: I was always a car fan and owned a Porsche 356 and then an Alfa Romeo Giulia - with three-piece BBS rims! I drove GLPs and rallies with it.

Until the ADAC called and the organization took over - how did that come about?

Geishecker: In the seventies, Kurt Bosch was sports director of the ADAC Nordrhein and race director of the motorcycle GP, the 24-hour race and the Eifel race. He said I had to be on the sports committee. When I was there, he said I should be on the board. A year later I was race director of the 24-hour race and the Eifel race. The highlights back then were the touring car and DRM races - cars that are back in the Eifel race today.

Which brings us to today's Eifel race as a classic event. It started in the eighties, among other things on the initiative of Motor Klassik, as Eifel Klassik and was briefly called Nürburgring Classic in the new millennium - until you took over the reins and first revived the traditional name Eifelrennnen. Right?

Geishecker: Yes. We are now also noticing how the name Eifelrennnen sounds. And the area of ​​oldtimers and youngtimers definitely has a future, if only because all the drivers need a place to let off steam. And of course I feel connected to the topic, I also visit the Oldtimer GP regularly - that's still the greatest for me. On the other hand, we hold an event with a different focus. OurStarting fields are at least as high-profile, but the Eifel race allows much more proximity. It was supposed to be an atmospheric time travel to a legendary racetrack, and it has become.

You can see: The Eifel race is definitely on a par, which is not only due to the name change. What else have you changed in the organizational structure?

Geishecker: The first thing I did four years ago was to get the right people, such as Marcus Herfort and Henning Meyersrenken. Then we set up the old paddock - I even painted a box together with the former Nürburgring boss - and reorganized it so that it is now inviting for a stroll. The most important thing, of course, are the many runs on the Nordschleife: this track is a myth. If people can only drive one lap there, they will be happy.

What are the plans for the future?

Geishecker: When I took over the 24-hour race, I said I wanted six-figure audience numbers one day - last year we had 220,000! At the Eifel race in 2009 there were almost 30,000, at some point between 50,000 and 80,000. The structure is very well received and we are sticking to it. But it is difficult to turn a race like this financially into positive territory, you need sponsors and television. Fortunately, the ADAC board is behind the Eifel race.

So you don't have to worry about the event?

Geishecker: No. We didn't start to quit again soon. But the new Nürburgring will also need a few years to establish itself, and it has to be played on - we play on it: with the ADAC Eifelrennen.

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