The Story of Mr. C.

Andrei Bogdan Caramidaru’s (or simply Mr. C – as commentators gave up trying to pronounce his name) sim racing journey starts in eastern Europe, Romania, around 2009. He was a passionate, yet of course illegal, street racer, living the ‘need for speed’ life while studying. With the years, his friends’ cars became faster and with that the risk everyone was taking increased.

It dawned on him that this wasn’t going to end well and he stopped. However, the passion for racing, competing and the need for adrenaline remained. It was then when he was introduced to sim racing and it immediately captivated him. Andrei is the type of guy who is either all in or not in at all. Earlier he had tried to replace street racing with mountain biking, but it cost him a couple teeth.

It seems for the better that in sim racing you aren’t actually moving. His friends called him crazy for investing what was a ridiculous €400 for a G27 wheel back then, but that’s not an insult, it’s his character. He started competing on Race07 – RaceRoom’s predecessor – and got involved in the community, became an admin on Racedepartment, today’s biggest sim racing platform.

Trucking as a means
of seeing the world

He finished his studies of sports (yes, he was an athlete, too) and public administration, yet an office job never really caught his interest, because he imagined it too repetitive. He tried to get a foothold in the UK, but eventually couldn’t afford making the transition. Like many, he says:

“I decided to do trucking for just a couple years.”

You’re tempted to ask how trucking isn’t also repetitive? So was I. “You know, yes, the driving is repetitive and the walk from the apartment to the truck, but I’m in a different place with different weather, different scenery, different views and nature every day.” he explained. He lived in Denmark and later Belgium, well at least that’s where his formal home was.

Most of the time he spent in the truck with his wife. Together they not just delivered the freight, but they took the opportunity to see pretty much all of Europe. Every time they got to a place, they would spend time actually seeing and breathing in the city they were visiting. Thus, when he says that Sweden is his favourite country and Copenhagen (or if you ask his wife: Barcelona) his favourite city, you better take that as advice.

Where there’s a will,
there is a way

During all this time, sim racing remained his passion and in 2017 there was a leaderboard competition where he needed to invest more time, so his wife took charge of the truck while he was hotlapping from the passenger seat, which resulted in a top ten finish. He already told her on the first date: “Sim racing, I need this” – so she knew what she bought into.

“Sim racing, I need this”

In 2018 the opportunity came to go to Canada on a work permit for trucking and they made the move. Being on the road for 5-7 days followed by two at home meant that he had to get creative. In the back of his truck he found the space to fit a pretty much full setup: a 32” screen, Fanatec CSL DD and pedals – all mounted on a wooden rig. Today he mainly plays iracing because there’s always a race going on, no matter the time of day. The only issue is the ping stability because he’s on a mobile connection – and forced cockpit camera – he’s a third person guy. However, “sim racing helps me stay sane” he says, sane enough at least to also run a team, raise two children and still manage to drive around 15 hours a day – 10 in the truck, 5 in the rig.

Nils Naujoks

Image Credits: Andrei Bogdan Caramidaru (apart from the 3D rig image, that’s from 3 Circle Creations)