What are the Different Types of Racing Gear?

Phil Shepley

There are many different types of vehicle racing, and there are many specialized pieces of equipment, or racing gear, each designed for a specific purpose for the sport. In fact, all of the different kinds of racing gear can make racing one of the most expensive sports around. Since it is also one of the most dangerous, many of the items designed for racing are made specifically for the purpose of safety.

Helmets are essential in racing, as drivers attain extremely high speeds.
Helmets are essential in racing, as drivers attain extremely high speeds.

One of the most essential pieces of safety gear for a race car driver is the helmet. These are usually made of light, solid, flame-resistant material such as fiberglass or carbon fiber. Also, within the helmet usually lies a flame-resistant foam liner. Underneath the helmet, drivers will often wear a head covering resembling a ski mask that is also flame retardant. Much racing gear is built along these lines, with features that focus mainly on fire safety since a fire is one of the worst things that can occur when car accidents happen.

Race car drivers often wear special gloves and shoes.
Race car drivers often wear special gloves and shoes.

A similar and equally important piece of racing gear is the racing suit, which must also protect the driver from fire in case of the worst possible car crash. Like many other items that a race car driver must equip himself with, the racing suit can be very expensive. Suits can cost more depending on the material they are made of, how many layers there are, and the safety rating.

Additional racing gear items are racing gloves and racing shoes. Gloves must be lightweight and flame-resistant while offering the proper amount of sensitivity and grip to maneuver the steering wheel. Like many other pieces of racing gear, they must adhere to professional standards to ensure the safety of all racers. Racing shoes are also important, as contact with the gas pedal and pedal feel are as important to a race driver as contact with the steering wheel is.

The driver must also be comfortable with the seats and harnesses of the race car in order to offer a prime racing environment. They must not only be ergonomic and relaxing, but must also offer the proper restraints and fire resistance. Seat belts and harnesses must follow the strictest of guidelines among racing gear because of their importance in the event of a collision.

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