Name: Olivia Cooper
Home Town: Exeter
Competition Car: Force TA – Suzuki
Motorsport history: Olivia’s family has a rich motorsport history. The sport of Hillclimbing really is in their blood, with both of her parents and her three siblings being competition licence holders at various times in their lives. Her Father Richard held the outright Shelsley Walsh record back in 1992 when he finished an excellent 6th overall in the British Hillclimb Championship in a Pilbeam MP-58 Ford DFR. Her Mother Elizabeth competed occasionally in a Ferrari while her Brothers Tom and George have been successful and regular competitors in various cars over the years. Sister Catherine has been an occasional competitor in the past too. Quite a family history!
Olivia’s sixteen year old twins Alice and Archie are of course showing great interest in competing too. Archie will in fact be acting as a mechanic in Braga for three times British Hillclimb Champion Trevor Willis, who is competing in his OMS-28!
Olivia first competed at the age of nineteen in her little MGB. Her first competitive event was at an airfield venue called Colerne near Bath. She soon graduated to single-seaters when Jedi constructor John Corbyn let her borrow his original Jedi chassis 001, which had a two stroke five hundred cc engine in the back. Quite a baptism, as it was a notoriously difficult car to get off the start-line!
Competing almost entirely on the hills she showed a lot of early promise. Olivia also learnt that taking the Jedi onto fast circuits wasn’t maybe such a good idea. On a visit to Goodwood, she quickly found that the little engine was a little breathless around the super-fast venue. It didn’t help that she did her track walk in an anti-clockwise direction. She only realised that she was walking in the wrong direction when she bumped into a number of her fellow competitors walking towards her!
Olivia moved on through the single-seater ranks and along with husband Liam bought their current Force TA back in 2018. Since then, they have both been getting faster and faster. 2021 really was a stellar season for Olivia which included her qualifying for six successive British Hillclimb Championship presented by Avon Tyres top twelve run-offs and breaking the ladies record at the BHC round at Doune. All of this in a car with 1600cc too – very impressive! The “cherry on the cake” has been qualifying for the FIA Masters trip to Braga and being nominated as one of Team GB’s four drivers in the prestigious Nations Cup.
This will be Olivia’s first experience of an FIA Masters event. She is looking forward to Braga and being part of Team GB, the atmosphere and taking part in an event on closed public roads, which from her experience of competing at the BHC rounds in both the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland, Olivia knows that she really enjoys.
Olivia started competing with a different kind of horsepower before moving into motor racing. She used to ride her horse in the sport of eventing. When she finished University her love for horses continued as she spent a year in New Zealand riding race horses.
It’s Olivia’s Birthday on Saturday 9th October while she is competing for Team GB in Braga. She starts her journey when she sails to Santander in Spain on Wednesday night and will then be driving onto Braga. Quite a way to spend your Birthday weekend! Happy Birthday Olivia and good luck!!