Motor Sport has on its editorial team four people who regularly race historic (and modern) cars. Here are the items they have invested in personally and can’t live without – together with some sage advice…
Races: MGB, Mazda MX-5, Fun Cup
From head to toe, I use Adidas Climacool. Last year I needed to replace all my kit, so took the plunge and bought the best I could afford. It was worth it. The under and outerwear do a remarkable job of keeping you cool. I tested the MG at Silverstone in 30-plus degree heat (more than 40 in the cockpit) and had no problems.
I’ve always worn Arai helmets – they fit me well. Also, I managed to escape head injury while wearing an Arai when I fell from a motorcycle some years back (though I broke almost everything else). That tends to inspire loyalty and I currently use a GP6 PED.
I also have a Hans III device, which is pretty affordable. I’ve heard good things about the Simpson Hybrid head-and-neck restraint system too, and would like to try one.
One other thing is an electrolyte drink. I use SIS, a soluble powder. Rehydrating is hugely important, especially if your race weekend ends with loading up a trailer and driving home on a Sunday evening. If you’re not hydrated, you’re not concentrating – on track or road…
Races: Lola T70, Ford GT40, Lotus Cortina, historic F2 and more
I use a Stilo ST5 FN helmet, but also love Arai. Don’t assume all helmets offer equal comfort. If you’re investing in a new one try on as many different brands and models as you can. There’s nothing worse than a splitting crash helmet-induced headache…
Spend some money on proper hearing protection. I speak from experience – loudly – as I’ve left it rather too late. Moulded silicone plugs are so much more effective than disposable foam. It doesn’t take long to have them moulded and they are widely available.
The new breed of lightweight overalls is exceptionally good, too. I’ve got a Sparco suit (it appears to have shrunk over the winter…) and they’re so much better at keeping you cool and keeping away the sweat than suits from five or more years ago. Just take a look at the suit weights listed in product descriptions to compare like for like.
A proper race kit bag is also essential. I’ve got a big Sparco trolley bag that swallows a helmet/HANS, few pairs of overalls, boots, gloves, underwear etc, with a bit of space for civvies as well.
Races: Formula Ford
I use a Bell RS7 helmet and, for others who also race single-seaters, a tinted visor might come in handy for those odd occasions when it is sunny in England. I got a new one for this year from Demon Tweeks.
If you like to film onboard, most people default to GoPro. They are no longer alone in the market any more, but they are good. Interestingly, the previous Hero 5 Black (not the 6) has been the more reliable of the ‘action’ cams we use at Motor Sport – so if you can find one for a reasonable price on auction sites or ex-stock, snap it up.
Races: You name it!
An Arai lid is the only thing that matters. I have a GP6 Ped and wouldn’t entrust my noggin to anything else. Otherwise Alpinestar boots, Schroth HANS device and Sparco everything else, because it’s cheap. I never race in Europe without Haribo waiting for me at the end of a stint. The jolly green giant Motor Sport overalls are minor legends in historic racing paddocks. When I wear anything else I can count on people coming up to me and asking where they are, in the hope that they’ve not been binned…