Monday, 13 March 2017

Mette Kruuse



Mette Kruuse was a Danish driver, active in the 1960s and 1970s. She is most associated with the MkI Ford Escort.

Her career began when she attended a racing drivers’ school, some time in the late 1960s. She first appears in major competition in a Volvo P544, in 1968. That year, she competed in most of the Danish Touring Car Championship, the Roskilde rounds mainly. Using either the PV544, or a 122, she managed a couple of good places in the over-1300cc class. The best of these was a fifth, in the Roskilde Castrol Cup. As well as her home series, she also raced in Sweden, and was ninth in the Anderstorp Mixed-Race, in the P544, which was run by the Ellemann-Jakobsen team.  

In 1969, she carried on racing a Volvo, and had much the same schedule as her debut DTCC year. Her first appearance was in the fifth round at Jyllandsring, and she was driving a PV544. The next race, the Ceat Cup, also at Jyllandsring, gave her a further fifth place.

Again, she raced in Sweden as well as Denmark. She was ninth in the “PR for Men” race held at Anderstorp in June. Her car was a PV544 run by the Aarhus car club.

In 1970, she also made sporadic appearances in the DTCC, driving a Simca 1000 at Djursland, and the Volvo at the second Djursland meeting, later in the season. She was sixth in both races. The DTCC rules changed that year from Group 5 to Group 2 regulations, and the series was less popular. Once more, she represented the Aarhus club in Sweden, finishing seventh in the non-championship race at Anderstorp, in the PV544. She may also have been part of an Anderstorp round of the Swedish Touring Car Championship, in the same car, but she may not have started.

In 1971, she had her first outing in a 1600cc Escort, as part of the Castrol-funded works team with Aage Buch-Larsen. The Escort had proved to be one of the most competitive of cars, under the new rules. She held her own in the <1000cc 2="" and="" at="" class.="" class="" djursland.="" end="" fourth="" group="" had="" in="" of="" one="" place="" second="" she="" span="" the="" was="" year="">

At the beginning of the season, she also made a guest appearance in the British Saloon championship at Brands Hatch, driving a British Vita-run Escort. It was the one of the support events for the Race of Champions. Mette was sixteenth overall on aggregate, having finished twelfth and twentieth in her two races.

In a 1971 interview, Mette stated that she wanted to move into single-seater racing next. She seems to have tried this in 1972. She is listed as an entry in that year’s Danish Grand Prix, a Formula 3 race, driving a Brabham BT28, but she did not start. Driving for the Ellemann-Jakobsen team who had supported her in the Volvo, she was eighteenth in the first round of the Swedish F3 championship, driving a Brabham BT21. Further details of her single-seater activities are not forthcoming.

For 1973, details are also vague, although she was part of a Swedish-run Ford team, sponsored by STP. She is listed as a non-starter for two Grand Prix support races in Sweden, but does not appear on the entry lists for any other races, in Sweden or Denmark. STP certainly sponsored several other drivers in touring cars in Sweden that year, but the deal with Mette must have broken down. Her career seems to end here.

Despite the somewhat sketchy details of her actual racing career, there are quite a lot of pictures of Mette available; she was quite photogenic, and seems to be remembered fondly. After her retirement, she may have been involved with breeding pedigree dogs.

(Image from http://nostalgimacken.blogspot.co.uk/2010_09_01_archive.html)

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