Growing up with a life split between Scotland and the UAE, Logan Hannah’s life and racing career has never been conventional. Now racing in the recently formed F4UAE Championship, she is hoping to continue the success she has already had with the ultimate aim of racing in IndyCar. Having won Karting Magazine’s Female Driver of the Year award and reaching the finals of the Ginetta Junior Scholarship, the 16-year-old has already had an eventful career and is still ready to take on anything the crazy world of motorsport can throw at her. I spoke to her about her career so far and what she’s got coming up in the future.
As a child, Logan’s father was a driver and so she spent many days in the team garage where she got her first taste of motorsport. “When I was young I was very much a spanner-monkey, but from the age of 11, I was constantly pestering him to let me have a drive,” she said. Eventually her father gave in allowing her to have her first go at racing as she started karting. “When I got my first shot in a proper go-kart, I knew it was something I just didn’t want to stop.”
Racing in the UAE is a little different to the UK and Hannah has had the opportunity to experience both. The obvious difference is the climate and therefore the temperature. “I’ve only ever driven in F4 in the UAE, and what I drove here was a Ginetta Juniors so I was covered. In the UAE you’re never going to have to deal with the rain, so that’s still something I have to think about when I come back,” Logan described. On the racing side, the layout and challenges tracks present also differ between the nations with her saying: “the tracks in the UAE are a lot more technical than the ones here”, another thing that she must adapt to having competed in the sport in both countries.
The UAE holds a special place in Logan’s heart with her career highlight so far being her first race there. Speaking of it she said: “to be able to have the first time I drive a single-seater car be on a F1 track of that standard was just amazing.” At a young age she has had an international career and is hoping to go even further afield in the future. “To race in America would be great, especially to race in IndyCar,” Hannah explained, though she was quick to add that if the opportunity to work towards F1 came up she “definitely wouldn’t turn it down” saying: “I’m looking both ways now.”
One of those racing in America who Logan sees as a role model would be Danica Patrick. But looking down the single-seater route, she also picked out D2BD ambassador Tatiana Calderon, “I would like to emulate her career, I met her a few years back and she was very lovely,” she told me.
As a female in racing, being the first woman to race in F4UAE and someone who has spent much of her life around motorsport, I asked whether being a part of an initiative such as ‘Dare to be Different’ would be something of interest. “I think it’s something to look at next, I’m with the Young Driver Academy now and I’m going into my third year so I’m looked at as one of the senior drivers. I will now step into the shoes of helping the younger drivers and those only now coming into it,” she replied. A responsibility which she enjoys, Logan likes to advice those younger with the knowledge she has gained through years of experience.
But what is the advice she would give? “Motorsport is full of lows and highs so be prepared to take those lows and improve from them,” Hannah advised. A vital note to take forward to all, motorsport is often focussed on the immense highs, but the lows can be extremely difficult and is something Logan is keen to express to youngsters coming through.
Logan’s interesting story was recently brought to the attention of the wider population through a feature with the BBC. “My school is very supportive of my racing and they posted about it on their twitter. The BBC saw that and one of their correspondents got in contact with the school who then got in contact with me,” she explained. Her story was covered by BBC Scotland and got more attention than she ever could’ve imagined with her receiving messages of support from people around the world. “The lovely messages were great, I didn’t realise it would get that much coverage and lots of things have come from it!”
One of those recent developments which may have been due to this increase in her profile is her signing with The Business of Sport Management for 2018. The company have been working alongside those instrumental in the success of Arden Motorsport as well as the Young Racing Driver Academy, so she is in safe hands.
At the young age of 16, Logan Hannah has already experienced racing internationally as well as several different series of motorsport. Having already driven on F1 circuits she is used to dealing with more technical tracks than some of her rivals may be, but this can only be a benefit to her and help to improve her skills. As a senior member of the Academy she is always advising the younger members with the aim of giving something back. What series she will go to in the future is at the moment unknown, but what is important for Logan now is enjoying her racing and being the best racing driver, she can be.
(photo credits: Logan Hannah)