11

A Proper Primer on Personal Protection

by Erik Jacobs

In the time between the SC300 getting dyno tuned and our first track day (complete with transmission soup), I had some extra shopping to do. It turned out that all of my personal safety equipment had timed out, and it all needed to be replaced with current gear. This is not an inexpensive proposition. For the average track day, a brain bucket is all that’s needed. But we had built a full-on race car and were intending to go wheel-to-wheel -- more would be required. And, generally speaking, it doesn’t hurt to have all the safety gear you can afford / bear to purchase.

 

At the 2017 PRI show I had the good fortune of running into Bart Hockerman from Pegasus Auto Racing. He knows a thing or two about safety and fitment.

 

In fact, Pegasus started 1980 when Chris Heitman couldn’t get parts for his 1975 Hawke DL-12 Formula Ford. After missing several races, Chris, and wife Carla, decided to start a supply company dedicated to both customer service and in-stock components -- including safety gear. To say everyone here knows a thing or two about racer safety is an understatement.

 

It pays to deal with your “local” safety supplier, especially if they have a showroom.

While you can get reasonably close by following the manufacturer measurements and ordering what you think is right, you really can’t tell until you try something on.

Unlike Zappos, most vendors aren’t offering free shipping on the return side, and some not even on the outbound, either. Instead of spending an extra few hundred bucks sending gear back-and-forth, visit a showroom and get it right the first time. All that extra money could buy you something nice.

I needed to replace every piece of personal safety equipment, so let’s start at the top.

 

Fortunately there were a few to choose from.

But what really goes into a helmet? What does it all mean? What should you choose? And why?

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