Hannah Grisham recently completed driver selection process for WSeries 2020 season at Almeria, Spain. And what an experience it was for the 19 year old American who had only pinned all hopes on racing F3 in the future.
Having grown up racing go-karts progressing to sprint cars and sports cars, Hannah competed in Mazda Teen Challenge earlier in the year, winning both races in her Spec Miata. As close as anyone can withstand racing pressure, Hannah’s victory in the Final race was by sheer 0.130 seconds over second place.
Which all bodes well for Hannah withstanding comprehensive driver selection process for WSeries 2020 end of last month. Amongst 13 Women driver hopefuls, Hannah’s enthusiasm boiled over, even when faced with fresh challenges over the 3 day testing sessions.
Hannah: ‘Overall the experience was amazing. At first, I was definitely nervous because I had the least amount of open wheel experience of any one there’.
‘There was also a lot of sim work at first, which was definitely not my strongest skill. I crashed about every other lap. I’m sure they were concerned that I was going to repeat that on the track. Thankfully I didn’t. Overall I am really proud of myself, and think I did really good for the little to no open wheel experience plus I made some great new friends!’
Gaining additional benefits of driving WSeries F3 car- Tatuus F3 T-318, Hannah relished time behind the wheel, loving every single minute testing on the track.
Hannah: ‘Driving and possibly getting to race F3 was definitely something that I thought was close to impossible before WSeries. Before this opportunity open wheel was simply not in my budget’.
‘It helped me realize that this is what I want to do. The car itself was like nothing I have experienced. It was obviously far faster than my Miata, and it handled amazing with all the down force’.
WSeries debut season 2019 was an astounding success. Not only providing 18 selected Women drivers the opportunity to race F3 cars over 6 Races, but also funding a full season of racing with all important technical and engineer support for all Women to improve their performances on the track.
Hannah: ‘I think it’s amazing what WSeries is doing. It is something that no one else has thought to do. It has already just in the first year given a lot of women opportunities that they would not have had’.
‘In my racing history, I have been surrounded by men, and honestly at times I’ve felt isolated. It was refreshing to be surrounded by women who all share the same passion, and can understand each other on a different level’.
Gutsy in pursuing racing career at home in America, Hannah has earned credentials in more than one category, won many races and Championship Titles making all preparation years of racing count come driver selection process for WSeries 2020.
Hannah: ‘I think what helped me was just the amount of time I have had, racing. I have been racing for fourteen years, and have over 300 races in go-karts and cars combined’.
‘When I was 6 years old I started racing go-karts. I did that for 10 years and in that time won 2 National Championships, became an IKF expert, and earned many wins, and podiums’.
‘When I was 15 I got the opportunity to race a Mazda Miata. I have now been doing that for 4 years. Last year I was picked for the Mazda Road to 24 shootout. This year I have won my Regional Championship , and have also won the Teen Mazda Challenge’.
With time ticking oh so slowly until final selection decisions are made, Hannah waits it all out, enthusiastic to face whichever 2020 throws her way.
Hannah: ‘As of right now everything is up in the air. Probably like all of the other girls, I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear the results. Overall I am looking forward to lots of racing in 2020!’