Steve Soper

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Steve Soper
Nationality  ENG
Born (1951-09-27) 27 September 1951 (age 63)
BTCC record
Teams Mini, Rover, TWR, Ford, BMW,
Peugeot Sport UK
Drivers
championships
0
Wins 14
Podium finishes
Poles
Fastest laps
Debut season 1982
First win 1983 (Overall)
Best championship position 2nd
Final season (2001) position 6th (93 points)

Steve Soper is a racing driver from Surrey, England, born in 1951. He raced in sports cars and touring cars at the top level for over 20 years. In 1983 he almost won the British Touring Car Championship before his Rover was deemed illegal. He finished as runner-up in the series in 1988 in a Ford Sierra, and in 1993 behind team-mate Joachim Winkelhock for BMW. In 1997 he came second in the FIA GT Championship and was fifth driving a Ford Sierra for Eggenberger Motorsport in the one-off World Touring Car Championship in 1987 run under Group A regulations.

Soper driving a McLaren F1 GTR at Donington Park in 1997.

He has also competed in the night European, Japanese and German Touring Car Championships. He won the 24 Hours Nürburgring in 1987, the 24 Hours of Spa in 1995, and the Guia Race in 1997, many of these were through his longest association with BMW, During the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, he was known to express his dislike of the 24 hour classic.

By 2000, Soper fell out of favour with Gerhard Berger, who was in charge of BMW's motorsport operations and retired from racing as he was solely interested in racing BMWs and acquired a BMW dealership in Lincoln.[1] For 2001, he reluctantly, made a surprise return to the British Touring Car Championship for Peugeot. The car was nowhere near as competitive as the Vauxhall Astra, but Steve still finished 6th in a thin field, however he was advised to retire on medical grounds after a heavy crash in the final round.

In 2013, Soper (who had earned the nickname "Soperman" from his fans during his career) announced plans and medical clearance to race again [2]

Racing record[edit]

Complete British Saloon/Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 1973–1990 in class) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap – 1 point awarded ?–1989 in class)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 DC Pts Class
1982 Team Sanyo Racing with Esso Austin Metro 1300 HLS D SIL
?
MAL
Ret†
OUL
6†
THR
12
THR
Ret
SIL
Ret
DON
10
BRH
?
DON
9
BRH
6
SIL
14
3rd 65 2nd
1983 Team Sanyo Racing with Esso Rover Vitesse A SIL
1
OUL
3
THR
7
BRH
1
THR SIL
1
DON
Ret
SIL
1
DON
1
BRH
2
SIL
2
DSQ 68 DSQ
1984 Team Sanyo Racing with Esso Rover Vitesse A DON
2
SIL OUL THR THR
1
SIL SNE BRH BRH DON SIL NC 0 NC
1985 Roger Dowson Engineering MG Metro Turbo B SIL
Ret
OUL THR DON THR SIL DON SIL SNE BRH BRH SIL NC 0 NC
1988 Eggenberger Motorsport Ford Sierra RS500 A SIL OUL
DNA
THR
1
DON THR SIL SIL BRH
2
SNE BRH BIR
C
DON
2
SIL 15th 21 6th
1989 BMW Team Finance BMW M3 B OUL SIL THR DON
11‡
THR SIL SIL BRH SNE BRH BIR DON SIL 43rd 4 10th
1991 BMW Team Finance BMW M3 SIL
18
SNE DON
1
THR SIL BRH SIL
1
DON
1

2
DON
2

Ret
OUL
3
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

Ret
DON THR
1
SIL 4th 96
1992 M Team Shell Racing with Listerine BMW 318is SIL THR
5
OUL
8
SNE BRH
3
DON
1

17
DON
2

3
SIL KNO
1

4
KNO
2

6
PEM
2
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

5
DON
2
SIL
Ret
6th 77
1993 BMW Motorsport Team BMW 318i SIL
1
DON
3
SNE
1
DON
3
OUL
Ret
BRH
1

4
BRH
2

1
PEM
3
SIL
Ret
KNO
1

12
KNO
2

8
OUL
2
BRH
3
THR
6
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

5
SIL
5
2nd 150
1994 BMW Motorsport Team Schnitzer BMW 318i THR
4
BRH
1

10
BRH
2

6
SNE
8
SIL
1
SIL
2
OUL
4
DON
1
DON
2
BRH
1

4
BRH
2

14
SIL KNO
1

3
KNO
2

1
OUL BRH
1

5
BRH
2

4
SIL
1

22
SIL
2

5
DON
1

12
DON
2

Ret
7th 102
2001 Peugeot Sport UK Peugeot 406 Coupé T BRH
1

7
BRH
2

4*
THR
1

Ret
THR
2

Ret
OUL
1

16
OUL
2

Ret
SIL
1

11
SIL
2

6
MON
1

4
MON
2

Ret
DON
1

6
DON
2

5*
KNO
1

Ret
KNO
2

4*
SNE
1

20
SNE
2

4
CRO
1

12
CRO
2

Ret
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

Ret*
SIL
1

20
SIL
2

8
DON
1

20
DON
2

Ret
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

DNS
6th 93
  1. ^ – Race was stopped due to heavy rain. No points were awarded.

† Events with 2 races staged for the different classes.

‡ Endurance driver.

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1983 Japan Mazdaspeed United Kingdom Jeff Allam
United Kingdom James Weaver
Mazda 717C C Jr. 267 18th 2nd
1996 Italy Team Bigazzi
Germany Team BMW Motorsport
France Jacques Laffite
Belgium Marc Duez
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 318 11th 9th
1997 Germany Team BMW Motorsport
Germany BMW Team Schnitzer
Finland JJ Lehto
Brazil Nelson Piquet
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 236 DNF DNF
1998 Germany Team BMW Motorsport Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck
Denmark Tom Kristensen
BMW V12 LM LMP1 60 DNF DNF
1999 United Kingdom Price+Bscher Germany Thomas Bscher
United States Bill Auberlen
BMW V12 LM LMP 345 5th 4th

Complete Japanese Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 DC Pts
1994 BMW Team Schnitzer BMW 318i AUT
1

Ret
AUT
2

7
SUG
1

3
SUG
2

1
TOK
1

6
TOK
2

9
SUZ
1

2
SUZ
2

2
MIN
1

1
MIN
2

1
AID
1

9
AID
2

3
TSU
1

Ret
TSU
2

DNS
SEN
1

1
SEN
2

1
FUJ
1

Ret
FUJ
2

7
3rd 132
1995 BMW Team Schnitzer BMW 318i FUJ
1

10
FUJ
2

5
SUG
1

4
SUG
2

4
TOK
1

3
TOK
2

3
SUZ
1

2
SUZ
2

1
MIN
1

9
MIN
2

2
AID
1

3
AID
2

9
SEN
1

3
SEN
2

1
FUJ
1

1
FUJ
2

2
1st 124

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Masanori Sekiya
Japanese Touring Car Championship
Champion

1995
Succeeded by
Naoki Hattori
Preceded by
Frank Biela
Guia Race winner
1997
Succeeded by
Joachim Winkelhock