We chatted to Scottish racing driver Logan Hannah about her beginnings in karting, her career development and what her ultimate goals are for the future.
“Sticking in when it gets tough and working harder than anyone else on the grid to not only be the best woman but to be the best out of everyone.”
This is 18-year-old Logan Hannah’s advice to those just getting started in karting.
For Logan, motorsport is full of highs and lows but she thinks that perhaps the number of lows often outweighs the high points. However that just makes her more determined to reach her goals.
“Being able to learn from your mistakes and bettering yourself through the lows will help you reach the highs,” she says.
Back in 2010, her dad’s hobby racing Porsches sparked an interest in motorsport that would lead Logan onto this path. Aside from his racing hobby, Logan’s dad is her biggest supporter.
“With him living in Dubai it has been difficult over the last few years,” she says. “Occasionally he is able to fly home and watch me race but when he isn’t there luckily he is quick on WhatsApp messaging myself and the team asking how I’m doing throughout the race weekend.”
Logan also talked about the immense amount of support her mum has given her.
“Since leaving Dubai she has been able to keep a full time job, look after me and my other two siblings and support me at all of my race weekends,” she says.
This support from her family has allowed her to race, initially in the UAE and now back in the UK.
“In my karting career, in the UAE, I regularly finished in the top-10 in a very competitive field in both Junior Rotax and Senior Rotax,” she says.
In the UK, all of Logan’s karting was done at the Larkhall Circuit in Scotland until she was old enough to venture down south on her own.
Despite the amount of racing she has undertaken at Larkhall, Logan doesn’t list it as one of her favourite tracks.
“One of my favourites definitely has to be Knockhill due to the close racing you can get,” she says. “Another would be Croft as it is such a fast flowing track.”
Reflecting on her karting years Logan remarks, “When I was much younger I would experience the occasional joke but that was all from young boys with big egos. Where I am now, I experience little to no prejudice towards myself or my gender during a race weekend.”
Making the transition away from karting, Logan’s first drive was in a Ginetta Junior at Blyton Park and then a Formula 4 car in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Logan made history by becoming the first female to drive in the Formula 4 UAE championship. This was followed by her first UK Formula 4 test at Croft with Arden.
The BBC produced a segment about Logan’s historic achievement in the UAE, where she subsequently faced some backlash on social media.
“Luckily I have a very good support system and tough skin when it comes to those things,” she says. “I just laughed it off and focused more on the kind messages I got from my friends and family about it rather than from the people that don’t know me.”
In 2018, Logan took a year out of racing and she began focussing on her progression towards 2019’s British Formula 4 grid. She spent time working with the Arden Formula 4 drivers, both in the sim and at some races across the UK. Unfortunately, due to budget, Logan was unable to take part in British F4 last year.
At the end of 2018 Logan took part in her first Formula Ford race. As a result she was able to take part in the full 2019 campaign with GBR competing in the Scottish championship and occasional rounds down south.
Logan was lucky enough to have a wealth of support from a range of people which helped her career progress through the junior ranks. In 2015, she was invited to join the Young Racing Driver Academy and was also chosen to be a TBOS (The Business of Sport) athlete for two years. In 2017, she won Karting Magazine’s Female Driver of the Year accolade.
Logan has had success at the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, where she finished 21st in the final. That result saw her being both the top Scottish driver and top female driver.
“It was incredibly close racing,” she says. “I’m looking forward to going back for the third time and bettering my result again.”
A standout moment for Logan was taking part in the Formula 4 UAE trophy weekend supporting the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of 2019. Logan had no previous practice and hadn’t driven with slicks in over two years. Despite that, she had top-10 finishes in both races.
“It was an incredible experience, from being able to race against my friends that I started racing with in karts to being invited into the Mercedes garage and sitting through a driver debrief,” she says. “The whole weekend was eye opening to the possibilities and opportunities that are ahead of me in my future career.
“Ultimately I want to be racing and any opportunity that comes my way to be behind the wheel I’ll take and make the most of.
Logan’s goal is to make it to Formula 1 or IndyCar as well as inspiring younger girls to take up racing.
Logan is kept busy away from motorsport as a student. She studied Sports Development at the City of Glasgow College and has now embarked on a degree in Psychology and Sport Studies at the University of Stirling.
Aside from her studies Logan says, “I’m definitely a social butterfly, I enjoy being able to spend time with my friends and family.” How she manages to fit it all in is impressive!”
In 2020, she has been selected to be part of the Motorsport UK Academy Squad for 2020 and 2021.
We can’t wait to get back to racing and continue watching Logan demonstrate her talent!
Photos from Hannah.