From Dubai to Donington: Stirling’s Professional Racing Driver

9 mins read

Logan Hannah, 21, grew up in Dubai and began her motorsport career racing karts at 12 years old. In 2016, she moved to East Kilbride and graduated to single-seat racing cars. This year she competed in the inaugural GB4 Championship and won her first race at the Donington Park circuit. When she isn’t behind the wheel, Hannah is a third year Sports Psychology student at The University of Stirling.

In this exclusive interview, Hannah takes us through a typical race weekend:

“On a race weekend, I normally wake up in a hotel. The alarm goes off around 6.45am, because I have to be at the track for 8.30. I’ll get there early, have a coffee and breakfast, and relax.

Then I have to attend the Drivers’ Briefing, which normally happens around 9. It only takes around 10-15 minutes. They run through the rules for the weekend, highlighting things that came up during the previous race.

Before Qualifying, I’ll sit down with the data engineers and go over footage and data from the car during testing earlier in the week.

We’re looking to find the best set up and package going into Qualifying, looking at the weather, looking at the times we’ve set from the sessions before and trying to see what the track conditions are like.

Qualifying is done anywhere between 9 and 12pm, it just depends on what’s happening and where we are that weekend. Afterwards, I’ll meet with the data engineers again before the start of Race One.

I tend to have my lunch two or three hours before I’m back in the car, but it doesn’t always work out like that. Particularly at the beginning of the year we have driver signings, when we set up at a table and people can come over to have a chat and get things signed.

Also, I have a media company that follows me around, so after each qualifying session and race I might do filming for them. The same for my sponsors, they bring their own media personnel too. The races are livestreamed as well so they could come over and invite me for a chat if I had a good qualifying or race.

Image Credit: Laser Tools Racing

On a Saturday we have Race One, that’s done after lunch anywhere from 1.30 to 5. We do a 12-15 minute race, and this is the first of three that weekend.

Normally I’ll have a briefing with the team after Race One, but it works out better to leave the in-depth analysis for the next day so we can look at the data with fresh eyes.

I’ll have dinner on Saturday night relatively early, to get myself away from the track as soon as Race One is done and allow for some downtime before ramping up again on Sunday.

I’m always in a hotel room on my own. It just works better for me that way, there’s a lot less distraction. With it being such an early start, I’ll be in the room around 8, but I might not get to bed until 9.30.

It’s all about winding down at that point, I might watch a bit of telly. I tend to watch back all the livestream footage from that day, to process the race and see what other drivers are doing. Then I get some sleep, ahead of two more races tomorrow.

Going into a race weekend, I try to do all my uni work and be ahead of assignments. From Thursday morning to Sunday night there’s no time to think about anything else, so I try not to overload myself. I finish assignments well in advance where possible and get extensions when I need to.

As for training, it’s a lot of cardio and quite a lot of strength. The GB4 cars have no power steering, traction control or anti-lock brakes. All the inputs you do involve brute strength.

At the end of a four-day race weekend, that Sunday afternoon race can be the hardest because you’ve been flat-out all week and we have to hit the brake pedal at 120 bar every lap, every corner consistently, so it’s a strain on the body.

My weekend normally starts on a Wednesday: I have access to a professional-level simulator, so I’ll travel down South for a two-hour session and then make my way to whichever track we’re racing at. Luckily the simulator is pretty central to all of them.

Image Credit: Laser Tools Racing

The situation I’m in now – looking to move up the motorsport ladder – means every day I’m sending emails to companies, trying to bring in new sponsors. Every step up the ladder, you could almost add a zero onto the costs. It’s not a cheap sport to be in.

At ten years old, thinking I wanted a professional career in motorsports, maybe that’s not quite what I expected. At that point, my Dad was able to do everything for me, send all the emails and be in contact with teams. Now at 21 I’m doing that on my own, and it’s a full-time job on top of a full-time degree.

As for 2023, there are a few exciting things coming up soon. I have a test in something pretty exciting this weekend! The plan for next year is to be racing in sports cars – GT racing is where the most opportunities are in motorsports now.

My dream is to race at Le Mans. This year I was invited to compete at the official virtual Le Mans event with Prodrive, manufacturers for the Aston Martin race team.

I travelled to their headquarters in Banbury, it was weird to be sleeping on an office floor during a 24-hour race while competing against Max Verstappen and a few other F1 drivers. If someone asked me if I wanted to jump on a flight to Le Mans and do the race again in person right after I finished, I would’ve said yes!”

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN

Motorsports has more lows than highs. The highs are much more enjoyable based on how you can process and move on from the lows.

ADVICE I’D GIVE

Every day is a learning day. Be willing to learn and open to criticism.

WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN

It’s a full-time commitment: everything I do day-to-day involves racing in some way or another.

Featured Image Credit: Laser Tools Racing

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