Motorsport around the world is sparsely populated with women. In Australia the names of women that are in the public eye when it comes to motorsport can be counted on one hand. In America that number is, by percentage, not that different. There is one young lady that is determined to break through and raise the profile of women in motorsport, and her name is Hannah Grisham.
At 19 years of age Hannah has more experience than many. She’s been connected with motoring since the age of three, having been taught to drive “a little yellow buggy” by her family (with her Dad having motorcycle racing experience), then at age four found the balance in riding motorbikes. Like so many that venture to motorsport she’s also had plenty of karting experience, starting at the tender age of six. The California native has garnered plenty of attention since, and in 2015 was awarded the Lake Speed Achievement of Excellence In Karting, making her just the second ever woman to do so. Factor in three class championship wins, runner up in championships five times, and numerous top five finishes, and it’s clear that Hannah has petrol well and truly flowing through her body.
Hannah graduated to racing something a bit bigger, both in physical size and in presence, by slotting her lithe physique into a Mazda MX-5/Miata at the age of sixteen. It took just three months for Hannah to make her presence known, with a second placing in the Spec Miata class at Buttonwillow, around 120 kilometres north of Los Angeles. A recognition of her talent came in the form of being invited to the 2018 Mazda Road to the 24 Shootout, held at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona under the tutelage of her coach, James Brown. The prize was a $100,000 scholarship. Although she made the top four, whittled down from a nationwide final list of twelve, this time, at least, she was unsuccessful.
The Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, has also seen this talented driver show her skill. The Toyo Tires Classic, part of the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) championships, was the feature race and from over eighty contestants, Grisham finished seventeenth after racing on the 3.4 mile long F1 course. The final position earned her a Teen Mazda Championship podium. 2018 was a great year for Hannah, with her driving seeing her on the podium in all but two starts, with the two races seeing vehicle issues sidelining her. She’d also finish the 2018 NASA So-Cal (Southern California) championship in second place.
Hanna is currently studying a Business and Finance major at San Diego State University and has scored some major backing from companies such as Mothers/Robert Davis Racing, and from software company Global Electronic Technology, a provider of transaction processing. 2019 was off to a great start, with two pole positions and two wins under the Robert Davis Racing banner at the Willow Springs International Racing circuit.
Grisham has heart, too. She has signed a partnership deal with The City of Hope, a leading cancer research and treatment hospital in Duarte, California. There’s been the recent addition of Shift Up Now, a Florida based organisation that promotes women in motorsport. More about this lady to watch can be found at hannahgrisham.com