Joe Cruttenden endures a character building MG Trophy Championship weekend at Oulton Park
MG Trophy Championship rookie Joe Cruttenden suffered from a difficult weekend at Oulton Park, taking away a zero score at the Cheshire circuit (2nd September).
In only his inaugural year in the sport, the Rochdale driver has already taken his Carplan backed MG ZR to a Class C podium this season at Knockhill in Scotland back in July.
Cruttenden has been as high as third in Class C this season thank to a strong start to his racing career and headed to the undulating circuit aiming to recover from his sixth spot as the championship headed to the penultimate meeting of the series.
Cruttenden would start the weekend on the back foot having missed out on the practice session on Friday afternoon. As such, his first opportunity to sample the tricky Oulton circuit would be in qualifying on Saturday.
Sadly the JDC Racing pilot failed to secure a decent lap time after a spin on his third tour and with the MG failing to restart, Cruttenden would be slotted into sixth and seventh in Class C for race one and two respectively.
Oulton Park would catch out many drivers in the series during the course of the weekend. No more so than on the opening lap of race one when the red flag was brought out due to a heavy impact with the barriers. It wouldn’t restart due to the damage caused and Cruttenden was lucky enough to emerge unscathed from the trouble ahead.
Race two would start much better for the newcomer; vaulting three places by the time he rounded the first corner and he began closing in on the pack in front. Eying another podium result, Cruttenden would gain significant time on the leaders and for three laps, stuck to the bumper of the 4th placed Class C runner.
Lap four offered the chance to grab the position across the pit straight and into turn one and he duly delivered, at least for another two tours.
Sadly Druids Corner would mark the end of Cruttenden’s efforts, spearing across the circuit and into the barriers after a self-inflicted error and he would go no further.
“That was probably one of my toughest weekends in motorsport,” said a disappointed Cruttenden.
“No matter how I tried I couldn’t get into a rhythm with the car and I really didn’t gel. It made so much difference not being able to test on Friday and I was playing catch up for the rest of the meeting. That said, it’s all experience and part of the learning process. Despite the result, I know I am improving and as the season progresses my lap times are tumbling which is where I wanted to be. I`ll take away the positives from the weekend and concentrate on the final round now.”
The series will now move the double header at Snetterton for the final two rounds of the Championship at the end of September.
Cruttenden is supported by CarPlan, PEC Automotive, SSH Trailers, Opie Oils, A&D Appliances, Guide Bridge MOT & Service Centre, On Tap Plumbing and Heating Services Cumbria Ltd.