Logan Hannah reflects on British F4 test at Croft

July 27, 2018

British F4

 It had been a long time since she had been in an F4 car so an arrival to Croft for her two-day test Logan was both anxious and excited. Logan would be in the British F4 car for two days alongside fellow YRDA member, Abbie Munro, as she continues her preparations to go racing in the near future. The emotions before getting in the car were certainly mixed but Logan was prepared!

“I felt anxious arriving at Croft, but also very excited! With all the preparation and time I had spent in the sim at Arden working on Croft I was ready to get everything out of the test days.”

That preparation is something all the drivers on the programme receive, but for Logan on the buildup to Croft it was certainly more specific. 

“With YRDA I have access to the Arden simulators and I’ve also been lucky enough to work with some of the British F4 engineers. The simulator is the closest thing to driving the car and it’s great for learning tracks and how the car handles. It’s perfect for a new driver!”

So, preparation complete it was time to head to Croft. Once at the circuit it was time to prepare for the first session. Here’s Logan to explain how she did just that…

“As a group me and the other driver, Abbie Munro, along with engineer, Brandon Wong, did some sighting laps in a road car to see the track in person for the first time. After that we overlooked some in car footage from the Arden drivers that had raced at Croft the weekend before.”

Being able to see the circuit is quite crucial. It gave Logan a chance to familiarize herself with the circuit in person before going out in something a lot quicker! With a full two days testing ahead Logan had plenty of times to put in some impressive lap times so first it was about growing the confidence within herself around a brand-new circuit.

“To be back in the car it was definitely a little uncomfortable at first as it’s a new track, new car and a new group of individuals helping me. But after the first session I was beginning to get more and more comfortable and confident.”

Croft is certainly not an easy track! A very quick first half of the lap is followed by some slow speed corners which makes the challenge of learning the circuit a lot more difficult! The first half requires the driver having to carry a lot of speed mid corner and on the sim that is a lot easier than in person, but how did the sim help speed up this process?

The simulator is so advanced and I have been lucky enough to have spent as much time in it as I did before the test. When at the track and in the car it is just so similar that I really only took a session, if that, to really get my head around it all and focus on my improvement.”

I think the answer to our previous question is a lot! Clearly the preparations had paid off and now Logan was fully focused on those lap times. She would be able to get in around 100 laps each day and that would be separated into short sessions so the number of sessions increased. It gave Logan more time to come in and look at data before going back out on circuit again to put some more improvements in. 

“Throughout the day we would do 10 laps a session and we could have easily done at least ten sessions over the day and at that rate we could have been sitting at around 100 laps on the first day alone! My times continued to fall throughout the day and it was a show of my stamina and physical fitness, but mostly all the preparation I was able to do beforehand.”

At this stage, not only was the sim showing it’s value but also the work Logan had done fitness wise. The training days at St George’s Park along with Logan working on a fitness programme with Chris Ray and sticking to it saw her comfortably sitting at 100 laps by the end of day one. But overall the morning had been a success. Track familiarization was complete, the lap times already impressive and after a short lunch break it would be time to do it all again!

“In the afternoon we had more time to look over the data and I was able to evaluate how I had done up to that point. I was able to talk to Brandon and the mechanics about what can be done and what I am doing wrong, but also what to focus on for the next session.” 

The afternoon would see Logan now making some setup changes to the car as well focusing on certain areas of the track to improve on lap times. Being able to work successfully with engineers doesn’t come so quickly to all drivers new to cars, like Logan, but her skills from the UAE F4 championship were evident at this point and it was smiles all round by the end of the day.

“I was happy with how the first day went and how I was able to keep it on track the whole day and not cause any problems, but moving into the second day I was wanting to get the car moving about more and being able to use that to my advantage to position the car where I wanted it to go.”

 

Day Two

Overnight Logan had developed a blister on her hand which could have hindered her test on the second day but thankfully this problem was something she had experienced before.

“Over the first day it was just a hot spot and I had experienced this at Abu Dhabi when I did my first race weekend at Yas Marina but I didn’t think much of it, until during one of the sessions my hand was really causing a problem. Thankfully I was able to push it aside and focus on the task ahead but when coming into the pits I had realised that not only had a blister formed but it had also popped. We were able to solve this by getting some proper heavy duty blister plasters and a change of gloves.” 

Heading into day two it was back to work and chasing lap times. With the Arden F4 drivers out the week previously Logan was able to look at data from Red Bull Junior, Jack Doohan, and use that to help here improve her own lap times which she was happy with by the end. However, like a true racer she immediately was looking for where she could improve.

“For my first time being in the car and at Croft I was reasonably happy to get to where I got. I would have liked to of been a little closer to race pace but with the blister and lack of experience it will have to be something I look to do next time I’m in the car.” 

The day ended with Logan and Abbie doing some practice starts. This was something Logan had experience from in UAE F4 so she focused on her technique and how she could improve before her first race.

“I had done starts before in the UAE and was able to get away in all but one, with the starts at the test I was just focused on the technique and what would be able to work for me.”

 

Summary

With a successful test complete Logan is almost ready to go racing and she already feels confident enough to be battling with some of the experienced drivers towards the back of the field!

“I would probably like a little bit more time in the seat, but I feel over the race weekend I would grow and get more confident in the car. Realistically I might be initially mixing it up with the chasing pack but ultimately my number one goal is to end up fighting for podiums and wins.” 

Until then it will be back in the sim to find new ways to improve on those lap times!

Steve Hutchinson, TBOS Global: “Two very successful testing days at the Croft circuit in a British F4 for Logan, completing around 200 faultless laps over 2 days. Great progress made with each session building and improving on the last, good feedback on the car and delivery from her race engineer ensured techniques improved along with impressive lap times. A really good test with all the boxes ticked, speed, intelligence to deliver from the data and great fitness levels.”