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The Complete Guide to Choosing a Racing Suit
If you’re a motorsport aficionado who watches a lot of pro racing, you may think that racing suits are just billboard space for sponsors to slap their logo on. Well, that’s not true at all. A racing suit is perhaps the most important piece of safety equipment in a racing driver’s kit.
However, a wide variety of racing suits are available today, which can make it quite difficult for buyers to choose the right one. So to help you make the right decision, the experts at Fast Racer have put together this brief guide on finding racing overalls that fit you perfectly—both in terms of your needs and physically.
So let’s get started.
Why Do I Need a Racing Suit?
The primary purpose of a racing suit is fire protection. In a sport where volatile, combustible liquids and high speeds come together, you need something that ensures protection. Compared to a little flame-retardant fabric, your skin is far more precious. The other important reason why you need racing overalls is that almost every racing facility requires drivers to wear them.
What Should I Look For In a Racing Suit?
The ideal racing suit comes with the requisite certifications. It should also be light while offering a good fit and a high level of protection.
Moreover, all Racing suits must meet the fire resistance requirements of FIA 8856-2018 (newest standard), FIA 8856-2000 or SFI 3.2A/5.
“FIA increases the safety in motorsport with the release of new standard FIA 8856-2018 for fire retardant race wear. The new standard establishes the requirements for design and performance in terms of increased protection against flames and against heat transmission, mechanical resistance and tensile strength” (source: OMP website)
Here’s a video that shows how the Dupont ThermoMan™ material used in the OMP Tecnica Evo Racing Suit is resistant to flame exposure.
What’s The Ideal Weight for a Racing Suit?
Just like most things in motorsports, the lighter your racing suit, the better. Lighter racing overalls are generally easier to move around, are more comfortable and help saving driver’s energy through the race. A number to have in mind: the lightest suits in the market have a weigh around ~235gr/m2 as the OMP ONE-S1 suit. Moreover, temperatures can get quite high on the racetrack—particularly in the cockpit.
Lighter, high-tech racing suits typically offer better breathability, which helps drivers stay cool. For instance, the top of the line suits from OMP feature a Stretch Dry System for more comfort and less heat. The maximum breathability of OMP Dry System is combined with the elasticity of 3D materials, to allow the best freedom in movements while reducing body temperature; two fundamental elements to help drivers improve their performance. (source: OMP website)
Getting the Right Fit
The right fit is essential for comfort, safety, and vehicle maneuverability. While most racing overalls fit standard measurements, some can be custom-made to fit particular drivers. First, measure your inseam, waist, chest, and neck while wearing what you typically wear beneath your racing overalls. Some brands may also require you to provide your arm, thigh, and hip measurements.
If you think this is too much to measure, you are not the only one. The three most important measures are your height, your weight and your chest measurement. Start with those there and you will narrow down your search significantly.
With these measurements, it shouldn’t be a problem to find a racing suit that fits you perfectly. Moreover, Fast Racer offer sizing charts for each suit model and brand at each product page.
Here at Fast Racer, we offer racing suits and overalls crafted by some of the leading brands in the sports, namely OMP and Alpinestars. Check out the collection.