Mel Healey becomes the first female champion in the long standing Alfa Championship. Photo: Michael Lindsay

Mel Healey created Alfa Romeo Championship history when she became its first woman champion after finishing 2nd in her class at Donington last Sunday in the 156 2 litre that she has raced all year.

Mel, from Sutton in Surrey, competed in every one of the 14 rounds, taking wins at Snetterton and Brands Hatch (twice) and was always a regular on the class podium. She started racing Alfas with an Alfasud Ti in 2002 before moving on to a 16v 33. Character building seasons in the Seat Cupra series and in Renault Clios greatly enhanced her competitiveness but Mel always felt she had "unfinished business" in the Alfa Championship.

A return was made with the 33 in 2008 and she almost won the title with it the following year. Mel has always had strong support from the family Spur Motorsport team and her father, Chris, was almost the 2010 champion himself only losing out at the two final rounds.

Apart from the outcome of the Championship, Donington saw the coveted Kevin Griffiths Trophy going to Neil Smith in his superb ex WTCC 156, with "team mate" Steve Dymoke (Class A2 156) in second place ahead of Andy Page (Giulietta Turbo). Class winners in the race were Anthony George (33 16v), Graham Seager (GTV 3 litre), Leon Bailey (33 8v) and Chris Finch (156). The Fiat Invitation class produced another win for Arthur McMahon in his Fiat Punto.

Later in the afternoon, the Alfas and Fiats were matched against VW Cup competitors in a very enjoyable challenge race. Neil Smith took another win although VWs filled the next 7 places headed by Steve Chaplin's Beetle, who had just secured the VW Cup title.


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