Divina Galica

Full Name:
Divina Mary Galica, MBE
Born:
13th August 1944 (Age 75)
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
Nationality:
British
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Divina Galica was an international skier who represented Great Britain at the Winter Olympics of 1964, 1968 and 1972. She twice captained the women’s team and was seventh in the Giant Slalom in that latter appearance. She also twice finished third in World Cup Giant Slaloms during 1968 and was awarded the MBE in 1973 for her services to the sport.

Motor racing switch and F1 opportunity

Her interest in motor racing started when she impressed in a celebrity Ford Escort race at Oulton Park in 1974. She finished second that day and embarked on a racing career with the support of Brands Hatch owner John Webb.

Galica graduated to the 1976 British Formula 1 Championship little over a year later when driving Nick Whiting’s Surtees TS16-Ford. She was also entered for that year’s British Grand Prix but failed to qualify amid the inevitable hype for the first British woman in F1. Unusually her car sported the supposedly unlucky number 13 that is seldom used in racing.

With backing from Olympus Cameras, she continued to race a Surtees TS19-Ford in the national series during 1977. She led at Brands Hatch and finished on the podium in four races. Galica returned to the world championship at the start of 1978 but failed to qualify the Olympus-sponsored Hesketh 308E-Ford in Argentina and Brazil before being replaced by Eddie Cheever.

Those were her final GP opportunities but her Surtees TS19 finished second in the British F1 series at Zandvoort later that year. She then raced a private March 792-Hart in selected Formula 2 rounds during 1979 and 1980 when meagre funds allowed.

Subsequent outings in sports cars and truck racing were followed by a return to skiing and another Olympic appearance in 1992. She later worked as an executive for Skip Barber.