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C8RKH

Atire

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So, having just put some serious power to weight via a supercharger/chargecooler in my VX I am looking to up the ante next year on my trackdays and exploits. Including the number I do. the seriousness with which I take them. the investment I make in driver coaching/training. And the variety of tracks I go to.

I would never confess to being the quickest. The bravest. The last of the late breakers (sic). Or, the most skillful of drivers.  I just enjoy driving my car as fast and as safe as I can and hopefully without binning it into the gravel or worse, a barrier.

So my question is at what point do you start to take what you wear at a track day seriously?  I mean, like a lot of folk I turn up in jeans, puma speedcats, a jumper over my T-shirt for the long sleeves all tracks seem to demand in the UK, and my helmet.

When should I consider buying some proper gear. Like a one piece driving suit. Some decent driving shoes. Gloves?  Or is that just not the thing to do as it makes you look like a cock, a knob, a stockbroker/accountant ;)

I mean. You wouldn't turn up for a Judo session in a swimsuit. Or for a serious tennis match in jeans and sandals. Once you get proficient and start doing it regularly, most people who cycle eventually find themselves in some sort of lycra, no matter what their body shape.

So, why am I feeling hesitant. Reticent maybe. Or just plain foolish by wanting to wear the proper clothing for the job? I mean, a one piece suit is designed in the manner it is for the purpose of driving a car as fast as you can. The gloves are made for a purpose. Etc.  Personally, when i see the guys with jeans, rolled up sleeves and the long cuff racing gloves on i can't help but think it looks a little wanky. Half baked. Think pearls, fur coat and no knickers - nice idea just not classy....

Am I just being a knob or tool by thinking about it too much? Or should i just fook it. Wear the proper stuff if i want and don't give a flying fig tree about what anyone else thinks.

All thoughts and opinions welcome. Personal insults will just bounce of my large frame but feel free to throw them. Would love to hear your views.

I'm blaming Demon Tweaks for this thread. i bought my helmet form them earlier this year and the damn fools sent me a 600 page catalogue full of goodliness and loveliness. Bar stewards that they are :)

 

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I plan on doing the same so hope to see you at the track!

personally I would say buy and wear what you feel happy in. You can always leave the onesie ;) in the car and pop it on before going on track; have comfy clothes for between sessions.

you wouldn’t wear your judo suit down the pub afterwards.....well you could but.....

i had just a helmet and some piloti shoes.

as I got my steering wheel re-trimmed in Alcantara as per the 430 exige I was told to buy gloves as sweat kills the fabric; I won’t however be prancing around with them on.

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Yup agree re not wearing the stuff off the track. i'd basically just wear it to drive to, at and from the track. Anything involving any form of social interaction, other than filling up at the petrol station, would be in normal clothes.

Also, what about safety. Given the speeds we can reach on track, and in my case the lack of skill, I am probably more likely to have a crash than a racer. So is something like a HANS device something I should think about?  I wanna be doing track days for a long time to come.... :)

 

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I bought some gloves (from the 'Ring B-)) before my last track day at Silverstone a month or so back. They definitely helped on circuit, both psychologically and physically I thought. I didn't get the nomex ones at £200 but the karting (non-fireproof) ones for £50. 

https://driver61.com/product-category/racewear/karting-gloves/

Remember you'll need harnesses for a HANS device. 

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59 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

I mean. You wouldn't turn up for a Judo session in a swimsuit. Or for a serious tennis match in jeans and sandals.

The difference is these are competitive events. A track day is just a fun, social event. I wouldn't discourage anybody from taking additional safety precautions, but I think I'm far more at risk on the road than on the track.

Seriously, if you have reached the point where you want to get competitive, have a go at Sprinting/Hill climbing against the clock. You will need all the gear for this.

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Depends on your shape

images.jpeg.92b9ef46a2b2cdafd004177b54ff0046.jpeg

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Did you get the picture from my wife @pete. The cow said she would never share it!

Going out for a bike ride is not a competitive event and yet many people wear lycra!

OK. So far the consensus seams to be shaping up as "you'll look like a knob so don't do it". Fine by me as it saves me loads of wonga I can spend on more go faster mods or training.  Quite surprising though when you look at the detail and lengths some people go to on their cars to be ready for a track day.

Keep the views coming please.

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1 hour ago, Bibs said:

I bought some gloves (from the 'Ring B-)) before my last track day at Silverstone a month or so back. They definitely helped on circuit, both psychologically and physically I thought. I didn't get the nomex ones at £200 but the karting (non-fireproof) ones for £50. 

https://driver61.com/product-category/racewear/karting-gloves/

Remember you'll need harnesses for a HANS device. 

Already got the harness in @Bibs.  One of the best mods I have ever done as you just feel much more a part of the car. Again, might only be a pyschological advantage but I found it just helps you to feel what the car is doing and means you stay rock solid under heaving braking whereas with the inertia real you always get to slide/get pushed forward.

As for the gloves I just think the long cuff versions can look a bit wanky. Have been looking at rally gloves instead. These ones from the same place. 

https://driver61.com/product/omp-new-rally-race-gloves-in-red/

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A one piece race suit is probably going too far for track days. I have Sparco gloves because my hands get sweaty, and Sparco race boots for the extra feel through thin soles. Getting to and from track I wear normal clothes and shoes. Crash helmet is fine, not sure a HANS device is necessary unless competing.

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The phrase 'all the gear no idea' comes to mind

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Personally, I’d wear whatever safety gear was mandatory for the circuit, and then whatever clothes I normally wear day to day. You’ll look a right tool wandering around in a race suit unless you’re competing in a race.

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49 minutes ago, pete said:

The phrase 'all the gear no idea' comes to mind

This. In spades. 

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OK, getting a clear picture that apart from gloves and shoes, no need for anything else.

Not sure why people are not so keen on the safety gear like say a hans device. Would have thought anything that reduced injury would be good. I mean, if you have an off at 100-130mph in your Lotus every bit as likely to help as in a race car.

Also, with the complete foowkwits you sometimes get on a track day there is at least as high a chance of one of these fookwits crashing into to.

OK. Gloves it is and maybe invest in some new boots.

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Spot on at least you won't look like one of the fookwits

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Yeah, you can usually spot them as they are the ones with their sleeves pulled up and long wristed racing gloves on :devil:  They do look like proper lemons like this picture. Just does not look right.

insidecar.jpg

  • Haha 1

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If you are looking at gloves I went for (recommended by LF1) omp one evo which are very comfy and don’t stick out like those above so you can easily pull your jumper/long sleeve t-shirt over them. Ybracing on eBay have great deals on them.

For shoes i went for (recommended by bibs) the piloti competizione which are lovely. Go for half a size bigger than you need.

 

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I have gloves and shoes because practically, they improve my driving situation. The gloves offer warmth and grip on the wheel, the shoes offer feel and dexterity.

I have HANS because it offers a lot of safety in the event of a shunt and I already know from getting rear ended many years ago the pain and suffering even minor neck injuries can cause. 

I own a one piece race suit but I generally find it impractical to wear it at track days. I do use it for sprints and have used it when hiring a Caterham on a track day before, however. The rest of the time, I just wear a pair of jeans and long sleeve t-shirt. 

The point of the suit is fire protection, I guess only you can weigh up whether you think fire is a risk worth offsetting against comfort/practicality/cost around a race suit.

One thing I would say is do what you want to - no one takes any notice if someone is wearing a race suit or not - except for the guy I saw turn up to Brands in a 458 and a race suit before proceeding to lap the circuit at sighting lap pace.

Edited by mikehhhhhhh

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A fireproof racing suit makes a lot of sense if you are: in a racing car with cage and harness (so limited egress options), in a racing situation (so arguably in repeated risk of serious contact from other cars), and at racing speeds. The chance of your car catching fire is increased and your potential time to vacate the vehicle (especially if trapped up against a barrier) is dramatically increased. Therefore, the need to protect against those first few critical seconds of flame is very real. 

However, if you’re in a road/track car at a track day, your chances of catching fire are  probably about the same as on the road. So, would you wear a fireproof suit on your daily commute?

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