16 December 2021 | General

Mark Crutcher on his rapid improvement

Aligned with the experienced McAlister father-son team, Mark Crutcher has been one of the major improvers during this year’s Turtle Wax Trans Am Series season.

Bathurst was a local round for Crutcher as he is located in Young, the same town as Ian and Hugh McAlister, which is just on two hours south of the fabled Mountain.

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A recent newcomer to motor racing, Crutcher graduated from the popular Australian Pulsar Racing Australia Series and continues to dabble in it from time-to-time, winning at Wakefield Park a month ago.

Crutcher credits not only the McAlisters, but former Australian NASCAR representative Marcos Ambrose for his gradual improvement throughout the year.

“I only took up driving five years ago and I’ve linked up with the McAlisters, who have been teaching me,” Crutcher explained.

“We had a bit of inside help at the start of the year from Marcos Ambrose and he was incredible. Marcos really ironed out all my problems and he had a fair bit to work with.”

Bathurst was a major milestone for Crutcher as he contended within the top five most of the weekend racing alongside Ben Grice and Dylan Thomas, which is an exciting proposition for him.

“I’m just stoked to be competing with these guys and be involved in the series,” Crutcher revealed.

“I was just thrilled to go racing with them and it was probably the quickest times I have done around the Mountain. I think I’ve taken it to the next level for me at 52 years old, which is incredible for me and to compete against some of these drivers has been awesome.

“That’s what Marcos, Hugh (McAlister) and Matt (MacKelden) have taught me just to find my points as well as to take a bit more serious as well as making me realise it’s a bigger gig series, which is very competitive.

“It’s grown in professionalism, which has made it that bit more difference and I’ve been able to lift my own performance as it’s way more fun to be at the pointy end!”

The Turtle Wax Trans Am Series is expected to feature a stronger field next year, but it is a challenge Crutcher is excited for after finishing eighth outright at Bathurst.

“I can’t wait for next year,” he said.

“If we can get anywhere near that top 10, we’ll be stoked and I think we’re pretty close to being there.”

Race Tasmania will again begin the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series in 2022 at Symmons Plains on February 11-13, joined by the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship and awesome local categories.

Make sure you get your tickets through Moshtix.