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Who wears racing suit for DE events

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Old 02-17-2016, 02:12 PM   #61
rlm328
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Originally Posted by Jas0nn View Post
I was driving a car that caught fire just as I entered the pits at Summit Last year. No contact at all, purely a mechanical failure.

The worst accident I've seen on the track happened during a DE event, not a race - the driver lost the brakes going into T1 at Lightning, went over the hill at a high rate of speed and slide off sideways. The car rolled several times before ending up outside the tire wall. No fire, but the driver (and his coach) were both very lucky they were in a race car with a full cage/halo seats.

I guess the point is that accidents happen - they're accidents because you don't expect them. Not saying everyone should have to wear suit at a DE, but I don't think it would be a bad thing if more people did ...
I have had 2 fires on the track, both oil fires. Once when I blew the seal to the oil filter and the other when the piston and the rod went separate ways and knocked a hole in the oil pan. Very short lived fires both were out by the time I got the car stopped.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:31 PM   #62
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-you Never really know what to expect on the track, even an autocorss.

This was from an Autox in January, a pretty big 2 vehicle incident.
1st time I've ever seen a 2 car incident at a Autox. 44 diver was pretty shaken up and when to the ER to get checked out.

no fire, but the 944 is probably totaled. the 991 is drive-able. (991 missed a turn).



I'm re-evaluating my safety gear for autox. - I don't wear a suit, or my H&N, but will start bringing my H&N gear.

(crash pic removed)

-You just never know..

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Old 02-17-2016, 03:41 PM   #63
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Here is what I believe and tell everyone, even though I make DE shirts that are SFI 3.3 certified.

Nothing can replace your suit whether in a DE or race. Most out-of-the-box sports cars go very fast these days..hp and speed is always increasing. Imagine having an issue with fire down the straight going 130+. Doesn't matter whether it's a race car or street, things can and do happen with or without a crash. How long does it take to find a safe place to stop and exit the car going that fast? For most, a lot longer than we would want, especially in street clothes.

Many, including myself, are guilty of not wearing a suit at DE's, nevertheless. In those cases, I recommend at least long sleeves and 3.3 level shirt...it's the very reason why I developed the Podium model shirts...that fabric carries a TPP rating of nearly double the minimum requirements of SFI 3.3. 3.3 underwear will add a minimum 3 seconds of TPP protection (see above post from Martin with TPP times) to any suit and give you a lot more protection than skin or flammable clothing. It's minimalist option but better than nothing.

Guys, at least wear something that won't catch fire or melt on your skin. Be careful of "FR" garments that aren't SFI certified. They are developed for utility purposes and most are hot anyway. But, they are tested differently and may not pass SFI for our sport. I know this from experience.

Our stuff is really not that expensive and others make some decent SFI/FIA shirts also. Of course, I'm partial TraqGear and have worked very hard to make the best gear without sacrificing comfort. But, I rather see my fellow drivers and racers in safe gear than not. Spend a few bucks a get a few items that will make the sport a little safer.

What looks funny to me is seeing guys in short sleeves and shorts wearing SFI gloves, driving shoes and a helmet. I wouldn't care how you look wearing the right stuff. If the unimaginable happens, you'll be prepared and glad you are.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:20 PM   #64
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One other "small" detail on street cars vs. race cars. While I believe that race car fires occur more often, when street cars do catch fire, they are more likely to burn completely on the inside. Street cars with full interiors are mainly plastics (made from petroleum) and composites, aside from the pretty stuff we actually see like leather. So, when they do catch fire, it's an inferno.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:56 PM   #65
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I own a very nice and rarely used race suit. After reading this thread I will wear it more often.

Would be interesting to see the different response if this thread was started in the gt3 sections?

Most of you guys here are wheel to wheel racers. And wear your suits. I agree with only seeing a few guys wearing suits at DEs. I'll be putting mine on from now.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:46 PM   #66
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One other item, which has been discussed in other threads, is the need for increased safety gear as you progress and get faster.

Does an instructed driver need a race suit? Depends - are you slamming the gas on the straights in a brand new cup car? Yes. Are you learning in a 944? Probably not.

If you have modified your car to go faster and you don't have safety gear, including a race suit, you should rethink your priorities.

Lastly, anyone who gives someone $hit about wearing a race suit at a DE event is an idiot. When I first starting going to the track I noticed it was the old guys, in dirty raggedy race suits, who were many times the fastest drivers.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:47 AM   #67
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The most important thing is rarely discussed. Wear fire resistant underwear, even if wearing jeans. Ever see someone who was only burned where the elastic band of his underwear melted into his skin? It's not pretty. And really a downer when it's swimsuit season!

A fire suit is sort of like a condom. You don't think you need it until you do. And then the consequences can be significant!
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:44 AM   #68
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As others have said, anyone who 'Flames' you for wearing protective gear at the track is ignorant.

While I don't often drive 'street' cars any more at the track, they CAN catch fire.

The worst wreck I ever had was an SPB with a 'cheater motor' (well, a 3.4 996 motor) where I hit at WGI at about 100 mph. Car was caged and I had full safety gear including window net and visor down. Don't leave home without it.

I had another Boxster with a big oil through exhaust oil fire which fortunately terminated itself after melting the back of the car off. Again, full nomex and gear.

Last year at VIR my formula car ended up in the grass and lit the grass on fire. I pulled the suppression system and jumped out and stood in the fire trying to push the car away from the grass fire. Try that without a suit on.

Oh, and then there was the time at NHMS when my true SPB lunched its motor and filled the car with smoke. I bailed out wearing full gear fearing for my life. And then I realized it was all coolant steam. LOL.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:52 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phrogpilot View Post
I do 20-25 DE track days a year, driving in advanced groups. I have installed a half cage, racing seats and 6-point harnesses in my 997.1 4S and can't imagine at this point being on the track without this essential safety equipment. How many of you use a race suit when driving in DE events. I don't own one, and wonder if, for safety reasons, I should invest in one. I have no intention of racing and am not interested in posing as a racer, Thoughts?
I was in a student's car that caught on fire. I wasn't wearing a fire suit - even though I had 2 with me at the track that day. It was quite dramatic and exciting to say the least. The car burned to the ground.

After that session, I never get in a car on the track without one. Period. I own it, I use it. I have a portable cool vest for the heat.

-td
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:00 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by ZBB0730 View Post
What looks funny to me is seeing guys in short sleeves and shorts wearing SFI gloves, driving shoes and a helmet. I wouldn't care how you look wearing the right stuff. If the unimaginable happens, you'll be prepared and glad you are.
This is something you see a lot with bikers. They drive with a leather jacket, helmet and gloves because "it looks cool" (especially the jacket with the shoulder protection makes your posture look a lot more impressive), but then they wear a pair of Nikes and jeans or shorts for the lower part of their body. Great protection ...


Concerning the drivers shoes there is 1 valid "excuse" though. If like me you like wearing "skateboarding" shoes (Vans, Etnies ... you name it), don't even think about driving a Westfield or Caterham as your shoe will be touching brake and accelerator at the same time. You need narrow shoes to be technically able to drive those cars.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:03 PM   #71
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And I guess we all get a bit smarter when getting older.

This is me 3 years ago, going 180mph on the Nordschleife



Not even wearing a HANS
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:17 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ir_fuel View Post
This is something you see a lot with bikers. They drive with a leather jacket, helmet and gloves because "it looks cool" (especially the jacket with the shoulder protection makes your posture look a lot more impressive), but then they wear a pair of Nikes and jeans or shorts for the lower part of their body. Great protection ...


Concerning the drivers shoes there is 1 valid "excuse" though. If like me you like wearing "skateboarding" shoes (Vans, Etnies ... you name it), don't even think about driving a Westfield or Caterham as your shoe will be touching brake and accelerator at the same time. You need narrow shoes to be technically able to drive those cars.
Yep totally agree. Any yes, the shoes I can def see. Way better than the alternative. It's the big fuzzy nomex gloves. No need for those unless you're worred about a fire. Would be much cooler and perhaps even look better just to get some good thin driving gloves for a better grip if that's the objective.

BTW, I'm totally guilty of all of the above posts. It's something you just don't think about much when you're starting out. What I'm willing to wear now in these environments is very different that what I wore 8 years ago. It's a learning process.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:46 PM   #73
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While we are on the topic and coming to a consensus that wearing a suit isn't a bad idea, lets talk about underwear:
Nomex under suits

Last edited by dan212; 02-19-2016 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:19 PM   #74
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Quote:
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While we are on the topic and coming to a consensus that wear a suit isn't a bad idea, lets talk about underwear:
Nomex under suits
I can certainly help with that. We make underwear that resembles the best athletic gear. We accomplished that by using natural, breathable fabrics. Nomex is great stuff, but it is a synthetic and doesn't breathe well. It's how TraqGear was birthed and actually RL'ers right here helped with the ideas that went into the products and I continue to reach out for ideas. To boil it all down, we built underwear that can do the job and perform like athletic wear..moisture wicking and antimicrobial. We found that most didn't wear FR under the suit not because they weren't safety conscious, but because it was so hot. So, we created a line that wasn't hot. I sweat like a bear, so I'm a great test dummy.

Also, SCCA SEDIV asked me to write an article on the subject and I recently posted on my blog. Has a lot of info regarding regular underwear and clothing vs. SFI cert FR underwear. Worth a read.
https://traqgear.com/blog/
Also I did a couple of dorky videos to explain the fabrics and demonstrate how light they are.

I don't "blow smoke" when I say rennlisters are a great bunch of people. They really are and many have given some fantastic ideas and feedback.
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:19 PM   #75
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I love my suit and I never drive on the track without it -- DE or race. Putting it on before each session/race is meditative and ceremonial, putting me in the right frame of mind. When I strap on, wearing my suit, gloves, shoes, and HANS, I'm "in" and the rest of the world disappears. Modern suits are very light, breathable, and they look damn good, to boot.

I haven't noticed that anyone cares about, much less ridicules, wearing a suit at DE in my neck of the woods. Maybe some people do, but I probably don't care enough to notice. Stopped caring what others think about my decisions after about age of 14.
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