John is a Company Director in the family engineering business Cope Engineering (Radcliffe) Limited and started rallying at 17 competing as a driver on road rallies with various MK 2 Escorts.
Following the changes to the road rally rules In 1988, he took a sabbatical for 3 years before building a clubman Grp A Sierra. John progressed to stage rallies in 1992 with some success, notably his favorite event, Mull where he finished 8th and 9th in consecutive years.
In 1996, John acquired a Group N Escort Cosworth to compete and challenge for the 1997 Group N Tarmac championship, which he won.
This was replaced in 2002 with a full Group A version with which he finished 2nd and 4th on Mull and saw him claim his first outright stage rally victory in 2002.
He also stepped up to compete on the Manx International and recorded a fine 9th overall, the Jim Clark and Ulster International rallies, but with the homologation of the Escort due to lapse at the end of 2004, John bought a Subaru Impreza WRC.
This is a Prodrive built machine which Andrew Nesbitt/Nial Maguire won the Irish/Dunlop tarmac championship with in 2000/20002 respectively and he has now competed on several events with the car, claiming several outright victory’s and a succession of excellent results on Mull and elsewhere.
Tony returns to the hotseat alongside John having taken a break from Rallying.
Initially cutting his teeth on Saturday night road rallies, contesting many of the Motoring News rally Championship rounds predominantly in and around the North West as a Driver, Tony soon found out that John was the quicker competitor and teamed up with him in the 1990's contesting many of the National Tarmac Championship rounds where alongside John became the Group N Championship Co-Driver in 1997.
Picking and choosing the events to tackle thereafter, Tony enjoyed forays to Southern Ireland and the rest of the UK and Isle of Man and of course many events on the Isle of Mull finishing 2nd on too many occasions !
After taking a break from rallying to concentrate on bringing up his 3 children and other interests, Tony returned to competition alongside George Mackey in 2017.
With John's former Co-Driver Clive taking a break the duo will team up together to contest selected events on the future.