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Car Racing Gear – Running is an inherently dangerous sport. We strap into 2,000+ pound machines and ride inches from others at high speed around tight courses with big walls. During this childhood, running was a really dangerous game. Professional drivers seem more likely to die than retire. Thank you; With decades of development in cars, gear, processes and safety on the track, motorsports in general have become “safer”.

When you start with HPDE, you really need a car and a helmet. HPDE risk levels are lower than wheel-to-wheel racing. As you modify your car, your car and your personal gear needs can quickly snowball. A hobby that starts with just a $200 helmet can easily turn into a $2,000 to $10,000 safety gear bill. With a little self-control it is possible to go wheel-to-wheel racing at or under $1,500. For all your gear: without compromising safety.

Car Racing Gear

Car Racing Gear

Reality: As long as you get the proper certified gear, it will provide the protection you expect. On top of that, you’re almost exclusively paying for more comfort.

Car Racing Helmet Stock Image. Image Of Championship

I wouldn’t argue that there aren’t lasting, significant improvements in safety. But, since our hobby is one with very wealthy participants, there will always be companies happy to sell them very expensive, high-end items. With compelling advertising and high margins manufacturers, sellers, and even customers need to advertise more! I’ve heard a lot of people say “I’ll never go to the minimum rules, it’s my life in danger”…but really? For most of us, we simply cannot afford advanced security equipment. Fortunately, “budget” equipment can keep us reasonably safe and let us race. We may not look like Formula 1 drivers, but we sure have more fun than them, even if we sweat a lot.

The following is a general outline of safety gear and requirements, following the rulebook most familiar to me. No piece of equipment can make any sport 100% risk-free, but following the safety rules of motorsport greatly reduces the risk of serious injury… just like any other action sport.

Whatever you do, make sure you check with any club you run for their own rulebook, as there may be variations and updates.

Bell Helmets used to run the “If You’ve Got a $10 Head – Wear a $10 Helmet” ad. Although relevant at the time and in the appropriate context, it is often used today as a way to sell helmets and anything else safety-related. Today, SNELL rated helmets are essential for track day and racing. Helmets go through a very rigorous process to earn the rating, so every SNELL rated helmet will give your head the highest level of protection.

Gear Shift Lever In The Cabin Of A Drag Racing Car Stock Photo

It is common for freshmen to sport helmets labeled “POINT” at the track. They are turned away or forced to borrow/rent new helmets. The DOT certificate itself doesn’t mean much. You know those cyclists who wear skimpy German-style helmets? Most of these items earn DOT certification. You need a high level of security.

Prices for SNELL certified helmets can range from affordable to astronomical. $200 gets you an entry-level helmet but prices go up to over $5,000. Most club racers spend $400-1200 on their helmets. I obviously don’t want to test any helmet in a real world scenario, but I would feel just as confident doing my $400 rated helmet as a $4,000 one.

This same formula continues across the $1200 to $4,000+ helmets. What you get for your money is comfort and convenience. Built-in communication links, ventilation, forced air, water, custom padding, etc

Car Racing Gear

“But they are so light!” Sure, an advanced helmet with advanced carbon fiber construction will be lighter, but is it worth the cost per ounce? I looked up some examples: Weight of a $5,000 helmet = 2.9 pounds. $400 = 3.5 lbs.

Photos: Mckenna Haase From Race Track To Classroom

Helmet Fit: Fit is one way that might force you to spend a little more money. Each helmet brand has its own shell shape and padding design for slightly different head shapes. It’s a good idea to try out a few helmets before buying one. The cheapest available option may fit perfectly or you may be forced to buy a different type. If you have a very odd head shape, your options for a comfortable helmet may be limited.

The helmet has expired! Helmets are generally allowed two “rating cycles”. As of 2022, Snell 2020 is current and 2015 is still allowed. There was some overlap where some clubs continued to allow SA2010 for the 2021 season so that the supply of SA2020 could catch up. Some clubs still allow the old 2010 rating for another full cycle for HPDE, but this is becoming less and less. Is the 10-year expiring cycle a big problem for budget competitors? No, helmets are consumable. Helmets are usually scratched, damaged and smelly after years of use, so a new helmet is due without safety concerns. A $400 helmet every 7 or so years won’t put me off racing, but I don’t want to buy a $2,000 helmet for the same cycle.

Other helmets Note: Snail ratings are divided into two main categories, M, and SA. M is motorcycle rated, and SA is rated for use in cars. They also have K ratings for karting. Most track day clubs allow M-rated helmets, but not all will allow SA. Unless you also need to use your helmet for a motorcycle, I recommend the SA as I expect the “M” helmet approval to start going away.

If you drive a car with a 5 or 6 point harness, you must have HANS, period. Some clubs are starting to require HANS for any vehicle that does HPDE with a harness. Your car’s factory 3pt seat belts are designed to “roll” your upper body forward and inward during a crash, using energy and ultimately trapping the airbag. Racing harnesses keep your torso firmly in the seat, but your unrestrained head and neck swing forward with the full force of the crash.

Nivetha Pethuraj Becomes A Certified Car Racer

If you still have the factory 3-point belts, you don’t need much, nor can you use the standard HANS. There are some hybrid units available that work with 3pt belts, but they are extremely expensive and concerns have been raised about their effectiveness.

Like helmets, HANS equipment can be purchased in different materials and levels. You can get a HANS device for about $450 or you can buy a “Pro” for twice that, $1,000. an advantage? 2.25 vs 1 lb for ultra in game. Is 1.25 lbs. sitting on your shoulders worth an extra $500 to you?

If you decide to jump from HPDE to Wheel to Wheel Racing, the inherent risk increases significantly and the safety requirements also jump. It is an oft-repeated statement that “fires don’t care if you do a track day or a race” but in reality the risks in racing are significantly greater. Beyond just pushing hard, the greater risk of car-to-car contact leads to more serious incidents, hence the need for more safety gear.

Car Racing Gear

Can you wear a full fire suit, gloves, boots and fire resistant underwear in HPDE? Of course! It is actually highly recommended. Is the cost of the kit and the hassle of putting it on worth it? That is for you to decide. Personally, I don’t wear my costume on most HPDE days, but a lot of people do!

Race Gear Unlimited Pull Back Sprint Car #08

Suits… where to start… suits are expensive. The cheapest race-legal race suits can be under $300, but (as with all things HPDE and racing) prices can go up. A suit can easily cost over $2,000. While helmets are practical, the difference between budget and capitalist is not astronomical … the extra money spent on a suit goes a long way for added comfort.

* You can see “racing” suits for sale for around $100. These single layer suits require expensive Nomex underwear to start being legal with clubs. Taking this route will cost more than just buying a layered 3.2a/5 suit.

Budget racing suits are mostly made of treated cotton material, while more expensive suits are made with Nomex and other high-tech fire-resistant materials. Treated cotton suits are not very flexible, and since the racing suit is a one-piece jumpsuit, it needs to be very baggy so as not to restrict movement. Suits with more expensive materials are simply more flexible, allowing them to fit better without sacrificing mobility.

More expensive suits are often tailored to fit your personal size. Instead of sticking to the standard (small, medium, medium, large) they are made to your exact specifications. The fit will be better, whatever your body shape… but at a significant cost.

Accessori Racing, Kart E Rally

I was especially tight on finances when I bought my own suit. The day after I got back from my honeymoon I needed an outfit for the Chumpcar (now Champcar) race. I went with the cheapest legal case I could find (Racequip 3.2a/5). It worked, but because it was very strange

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Doni Firmansyah
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