Legendary Romanian racing driver celebrated its 101th birthday late last week.
Marin Dumitrescu came from his native village Comani to Bucharest in the 1930s and found a job at the Ford Romania factory. Soon, his abilities as mechanic became obvious. There, he also met for the first time Petre Cristea (Monte Carlo winner of 1936, with Ford V8). And he tried hard to be around all the major local racing events of the thirties. Watching live what were capable of pilots like Hans Stuck or Ernst Henne, that’s what made him dreaming…
So, the war started and, later, the war ended. During these tough years, Marin Dumitrescu gained a thick technical experience working and driving military vehicles. Back in Bucharest, he gets involved in the very first post-war racing events. These were a kind of monobrand races, as the competitors were driving military Jeeps. Soon, Marin Dumitrescu proved that a Jeep can be a faster racer than the others, after removing the front transmission, the transfer box and some other heavy parts.
At the end of 1947, following an initiative attributed to Jean Calcianu, a series of competition models from the interwar period were brought to light and reconditioned, thus laying the foundation for a new speed championship on the circuit. Supported by mentor Artur Strijek and engineer Petre Iscu, Marin Dumitrescu built two racing cars, based on the BMW 328 at the Vulcan Factory, and successfully competed with the likes of as Petre Cristea (former Monte Carlo Rally winner with a Ford V8 and himself a BMW 328 pilot before the war)), Jean Calcianu oand Alexe de Vassal.
In the face of this remarkable competition, one of the most important victories was achieved by Marin Dumitrescu at the 1950 Sinaia Coast Speed Race.
After the communist regime halted speed racing, Marin Dumitrescu was one of those who contributed to the launch of the national rally championship and the resumption of the touring races. In a career that spans more than 30 years and a wide range of competitions, from motorcycle racing to rallies, he has accumulated over 30 champion titles. The last title was obtained even in the year of retirement, 1976, with a Dacia model – National Class VI Champion in the coastal speed championship.
For his activities, Marin Dumitrescu was decorated by the Romanian Presidency in 2012 with the National Order of the Faithful Service in the rank of Knight.
Sources: Bogdan Coconiu, autoexcellens, BMW Romania