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P. G.

Cristea From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

Petre G. Cristea (January 31, 1909 July 6, 1995) is considered by many to be Romania's best racing driver. Cristea was born in Bucharest, Romania. Having a passion for motor vehicles, he forged his ID card in 1925 and obtained his driving licence even if he vas only 16 and a half. He started racing in 1930 and entered his first Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo in 1931, finishing 11th with his team mate, driving a Dodge Victory Six. He pursued his driving career in parallel with joining the Bucharest Polytechical University, of which he dropped out after 3 years for medical reasons. He entered the 1934 and 1935 Monte Carlo Rallies, finishing 18th and 15th driving in both races a modified Ford V8. After these progresses, Cristea, together with Ionel Zamfirescu, a motorcycling champion, decided to modify a Ford V8 in order to attempt a top finish in the 1936 Monte Carlo Rally. To help him Ford Romania gave him an already competitive Ford V8, which he heavily tuned up: he only kept from the original car the radiator's mask, the engine hood, the headlights, the fenders, the windshield and the dashboard. He modified the engine, which received a Britishmade cylinder head which reduced the compression ratio, he replaced the delco with a VertexScintila magneto and replaced the stock carburaotr with a double Weber carburator taken from Maserati, he reinforced the chassis, changed the shocks with some Lincoln provenience, more rigid shocks, obtained a rigid transmission by obtaining the current effect of the limited slip

differential and transformed the car's body into a roadster's body. When the car was finished, he stated that he couldn't possibly take off any more weight off his car. Together with his team mate Ionel Zamfirescu and his mechanic Gogu Constantinescu he started the rallye from Athens and arrived to Monte Carlo without acuumulting any penalty points (like other 15 crews). The winner was going to be selected after a slalom contest, which Cristea won 0.4 seconds ahead of frenchman Laury Scheel, drivind a more powerful Delahaye. This was Ford's first win at Monte Carlo and Romania's only victory in the Principalty. The following year, he won the Monte Carlo Rally, but he was disqualified because his back fenders were illegal (they did not fully covered the wheels). In 1939, he won a sports car event at the Nrburgring in Germany. In the post-war period, Cristea only competed in local races and hillclimbing events in Romania. During his career, he raced in 80 competitions (of which 35 were international ones) and had 56 podium finishes (30 wins, 20 second places and 6 third places). After ending his driving career, he founded the Autoturism (Engl: Car) magazine in 1969, today owned by the Romanian Auto Club and wrote several books including Cum sa devii campion (Engl: How to Become a Champion) and Arta de a conduce autoturismul (Engl:The Art of Driving The Car). He died in Bucharest on July 6, 1995, aged 89. [edit] External links