The Romantic Pilot

Thirty-two years ago a child named Claudiu David was born in Sinaia, Romania. At the same time a story was born. When life becomes the story of your dream, you become a hero.

Today,Claudiu is a multiple rally champion, three-time participant in the World Rally Championship, where he earned the best ranking in the history of Romanian participation in this competition, he is a test driver for BMW Romania and manager of his own driving school.

Participating in 65 races, Claudiu made it to the podium 37 times, won 20 stages and became champion four times. He obtained victories in the European Championships and in Romania, Hungary, Austria and America. Competing in Argentina, on the edge of the abyss, once in the woods full of danger from Japan, or on deceptive surfaces covered by ice under the snow at The New York Winter Rally, on asphalt or gravel, through extreme heat, torrential rain or frost, Claudiu has managed to be among the best pilots in the world.

Arriving sometimes a second behind Sebastian Leoeb, other times being the fastest driver in the United States, Claudiu’s life unfolds in a dizzying pace, between competitions and trainings, working as a competition organizer and as a test pilot.

Claudiu promoted, tested, did demonstrations for all major televisions in Romania, for the most representative publications in the field, at more than 100 product launches. Today, he is testing for BMW Romania. Claudiu’s co-pilot is a woman, something rare in a sport dominated by men. Mihaela Beldie is a sports physician and, in the same time, the person about whom Claudius says is “the best co-driver in the world.”

In his spare time Claudiu likes skiing and mountain biking, preferably down-hill, discipline where he won several competitions. The only moments when things don’t happen quickly around Claudiu are when he listens to music or watches movies. He listens Radio Romantic, he loves old music, romance movies and comedies.

I met this romantic pilot at The Annual Meeting of BMW Club Romania at Paltinis. I found out that he is preparing to compete in the most spectacular car competition in the world, NASCAR. I asked him if he wants to be the hero of the first Vagabond episode and Claudiu answered “yes” without hesitation.

I was happy. I know it will be a week full of surprises and adrenaline, I expect to have fun and to learn new things. I’ll try to steal moments from Claudiu’s life using my Nikon, some of them during a competition.

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