Cooper Becklin finished third in the 2023 Formula Regional Americas Championship (FR Americas) driver standings. After joining the FR Americas tour late in the 2021 season, Becklin had the most consistent season of his career in 2023, recording 15 podiums in 18 events and breaking through for his first-career win in Round 15 at VIRginia International Raceway while driving the No. 19 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3. A competitive high jumper throughout high school, Becklin is enrolled in his sophomore year at Oregon State where he is studying graphic design. A long-time Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport driver, Becklin played a key role in the organization winning their first FR Americas Team Championship this season.
Where are you from and what's your favorite thing about where you're from?
Cooper Becklin (CB): “I'm from Portland, Oregon. It's very green; I like how green it is.”
When and how did you decide that you wanted to get into racing and then what were your steps to get to FR Americas?
CB: “My dad raced when he was younger—he raced motorcycles before I was born. He put me in a go-kart when I was very young and I fell in love with it. I went from karting, and then I moved up to Formula 4. Unfortunately, I totaled the F4 U.S. car a couple years back. Now, we're running in FR Americas.”
Who is your racing idol and what makes you look up to them?
CB: “It's hard to say because there's not just one person that I really look up to. I've always loved Sebastian Vettel—just how he is as a driver and as a person. I think he's a really good one to look up to.”
If you could only drive one racetrack for the rest of your life, which track would it be?
CB: “I'm going to say my hometown track, Portland International Raceway. I love Portland.”
What makes that track so special to you?
CB: “It's just a very different track. It's not super complicated; there isn’t a lot of hard braking. The way the track flows—the last sector has a really fast chicane, and the first couple turns, like Turns 1 through 4, are super fun in my opinion. It's a track I enjoy a lot.”
What is the one racetrack that you dream of racing on the most?
CB: “Spa. I really want to race at Spa. It's iconic. I feel like that track in general is a track that I think anybody would really like to drive at—that or Red Bull Ring. I like Red Bull Ring a lot as well.”
Tell me about one race from your career that really sticks out in your memory.
CB: “A race that sticks out to me would have to be VIRginia International Raceway this past season. We were able to save a set of fresh tires for the third race, and I got my first FR Americas win. That’s a really great memory.”