Steven Meli John Cooper Challenge summary

Steven Meli claims inaugural John Cooper Challenge and Super Coupe Cup Class honours. Steven Meli made motorsport history at Mallory Park in the final round of the 2002 John Cooper Challenge by becoming the first ever driver to scoop the series...

Steven Meli claims inaugural John Cooper Challenge and Super Coupe Cup Class honours.

Steven Meli made motorsport history at Mallory Park in the final round of the 2002 John Cooper Challenge by becoming the first ever driver to scoop the series honours.

After qualifying second on the grid, Meli took full advantage of pole man Nick Smith's slow start to rocket into the lead. Worsening weather conditions and several mid-field battles helped the Balham-based Mark Fish Motorsport runner to stay in control up-front after a first corner tussle with the rapid Arthur Foster.

Despite being chased hard by Foster, Meli remained in control up front and held a 0.6 second advantage when the chequred flag was deployed after thirteen minutes of racing.

"I'm delighted to have won the John Cooper Challenge in its inaugural season," Meli commented. "The championship has gone from strength to strength all year with lots of close, exciting racing throughout.

"The MINI Cooper is a fantastic car to race and I'm sure this will be reflected in the standard of racing we will see in the John Cooper Challenge in the years to come."

In addition to a full calendar of events in the MINI Cooper, Meli campaigned his usual Renault 5 Turbo in the Super Coupe Cup. Despite missing several rounds of the championship, Meli secured the combie class honours at Donington Park.

"I always enjoy racing in the Super Coupe Cup and to have won the class after being forced to miss a few rounds is really the icing on the cake," he said. "I have had a fantastic season and am hoping to build on this by moving up a level next year. Although nothing has been signed, one option is to race a Clio V6 in the European Championship."

-ra-

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers John Cooper , Nick Smith