Like his grandfather before him, Charlie Cooper, is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with on the race circuit as the brand ambassador for the car that bears his family name.
Charlie, 37, is the great-grandson of Charles Cooper and the grandson of John Cooper, who together created the Cooper Car Company in 1946.
Charlie’s father, John Michael Cooper was the creator of the John Cooper Works JCW brand, so it’s little wonder then, with that pedigree behind him, that Charles is now flying the flag for the brand in its 60th anniversary year.
He made his racing debut earlier this year behind the wheel of a MINI at the annual MINI CHALLENGE. The race series is seen as the ultimate MINI championship since it was launched back in 2002.
The MINI Challenge
The MINI CHALLENGE regularly visits the UK’s top circuits including Brands Hatch GP, Donington Park, Oulton Park, Silverstone and Snetterton.
Scrutineering controls mean each race is fair, with the drivers' skills and knowledge ultimately deciding the result of each race, whether that’s the JCW Challenge Class or the Cooper Class.
As the third generation of the legendary Cooper family, Charlie has joined the series as a member of the Excelr8 Motorsport team for this year’s Cooper Pro Championship.
Charlie Cooper Heads to Donington Park For Season Finale
Despite trying his hand at karting in his younger days, Charlie never thought he’d end up racing the cars created, designed and perfected by his forebears.
In fact, he wanted to become a professional rugby player before injury put a stop to that dream. So he turned his attention to two wheels rather than four, joining his father Michael to run the Cooper Bike Company in London. Originally a sideline of the main Cooper Car Company, the Cooper Bike Company has legions of loyal fans in its own right by basing its bikes on the engineering, design and innovation that made the Cooper brand famous.
They are already diversifying into electric bikes and have won awards for their models. But it’s still cars bearing the Cooper name that stir the most emotion for followers. Charlie himself remembers days out at Silverstone with his family and idolising the great Ayrton Senna during his Formula 1 heyday.
Charlie’s inaugural MINI CHALLENGE season is due to culminate in an outing in the top-flight JCW Championship at this year’s Donington Park season finale. But if you’re not lucky enough to follow in his footsteps to become a racing driver you can still discover the thrill of these sporty cars by booking a test drive in the MINI of your choice at Dick Lovett MINI in Bristol, Bath, Swindon or Hungerford.
After all, it is the 60th anniversary year of the great MINI car so why not see for yourself what puts the ‘great’ in this Great British icon?