The race is just 6 days away and I am getting nervous yet excited. Throughout this journey of my first official race, I have learnt so much – about managing a team, about karting itself, about racing itself and more. A huge thank you to title sponsor MIndCHIC Club! for this opportunity to go racing!
Today I want to talk about racing gear. Racing gear is essential as safety comes first and you want to be protected in times of unfortunate incidents. Racing goes beyond just getting the vehicle to drive. Just to participate in this amateur OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge in rental karts, these were the costs involved for me:
- Registration fees ($3,500 before GST per team)
- Licensing fees with the Singapore Motor Sports Association as it is a SMSA-sanctioned event so we need a provisional racing licence ($300 for a corporate membership as each team needs to be registered under a company, followed by $150 per team of 6 members)
- Racing gear (eg. helmet, suit, gloves, shoes, rib protector, neck guard)
- Training (bulk of the cost comes from here – more track time means more practice and means improving your skills, but too bad our wallet strings are limited)
- Promotional and marketing efforts (eg. team tshirts or in my case I had the audition for the team free for all interested)
- Other miscellaneous costs (eg. photography)
Here’s a list of the items that I attained to race in the OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge and do note that it is not a definitive list to follow. Just sharing what I got:
I will be using the Arai GP-6S helmet, which is FIA approved and costs almost $1,000. For the OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge, road legal helmets like the $30 ones we use at Kartright for the rental karts will suffice. However, I thought I should invest in a helmet so I can engage in more racing in future! The GP-6S is for karts and also for cars.
The brand new helmet is pristine white and shiny. To individualise it, drivers take them to the custom painters to get a personal design. Other than vain aesthetic reasons, sporting a unique design for the helmet will help spectators to identify the drivers on the track too. Some people think it’s not necessary and that the helmet should just serve its basic function.
For me I felt a strong sense of pride swelling within me when I set my eyes on my completed helmet for the first time. Custom painters Aire Pro Designs did a wonderful wonderful job designing and airbrushing the helmet for me. I just need a pink tinted visor and my helmet will be perfect!
Isn’t my helmet just so gorgeous? The artwork is beautiful and now I can’t bear to use it! Haha nah I tried it at training last week and it felt great. You can even see me from far.. Note that this is taken at night and in the sunlight it will stand out more!
This is what I call the ‘robber mask’ as it really looks like one don’t you think? It’s actually sorta inner wear for the head as you wear it under the helmet.
When you rent a kart at Kartright Speedway they provide you with shower caps (or hair protection to put it nicely) to wear inside of the shared helmets for hygiene purposes. But for your own helmet, you would want to keep it clean too right? You wouldn’t want the padding inside to reek of your perspiration!
Ordinarily, a racing suit isn’t required when you walk in at Kartright Speedway and rent a kart for 10 minutes. But for the OCBC Corporate Karting Challange, it is stated in the rules and regulations that we need to have suits. Understanding this, part of the registration package included 4 racing suits so we don’t have to go and get our own suits. Of course if you have your own already you may wear it.
The suit that’s being provided is ORC and a new one would cost a couple of hundreds. I would like to have a pink racing suit one day, if I can find one! I’m saving up to get a Stand21 customised suit though, customised to my own measurements, colours and design!
So anyway, the plain suit wouldn’t look special and again, like the helmet, the suit needs to be individualised to create an identity for it. That’s where embroideries come in!
Through this I learnt that embroideries are not cheap! If your embroideries are of very intricate designs, they might end up being more expensive than the suit. You have to pay to create the embroidery programme for the logo and then each repeat of the embroidery is an additional cost. Fortunately, Asia Apparels was very kind to sponsor the embroideries for our team.
Don’t the suits look nice with the embroideries? I wanted to put my website URL [www.cheryl-tay.com] down the front of the right leg but there wasn’t enough space.
Now, gloves may seem insignificant compared to the helmet and the suit, but it is actually very very essential. I didn’t have the habit of wearing gloves to kart so I ended up suffering for it and getting horrible blisters on my palms:
I got this and it was healing when I went to kart again without gloves, resulting in this:
This is quite bad – It hurts like crap when I wash my hands and I can’t even open up my palm fully or hold my luggage or open a bottle of drink. Well, I invested in a good pair of gloves from Stand21 and it finally arrived:
My customised Stand21 Outside Seams gloves are SOOOOOOO pretty! I can’t wait to use them this Saturday for the race… bye bye blisters!
There are dedicated shoes for racing, sometimes referred to as racing boots. I ordered a pair of Stand21 Daytona II boots but they won’t be able to arrive in time for my race! Anyway, these dedicated racing boots have thin and firm soles so you can feel the pedals well, and there is also a sturdy heel base so that you can use it as a pivot without having your foot slip out from under.
Stand21′s boots can be customised and mine has my logo and name, just like my gloves! Can’t wait for them to arrive so I can show them to you!
6. Rib Protector
I get bruises on my ribs from banging left and right in the seat so I decided to get one. For racing in rental karts you don’t need a rib protector as a must but for racing in those professional race karts you must have one otherwise you might end up hurting your ribs. This is how a rib protector looks like and you wear it inside the suit over your t-shirt inside:
7. Neck Protector
There are two kinds of devices you can put round your neck to protect it from being hurt. A lot of stress is on the neck as it copes with the G-forces, especially in the corners, and also in times of unfortunate crashes your neck is at risk.
I didn’t get one for myself for this race, but if I were to advance to the race karts which are more powerful, I will definitely get one.
So, that sums up the racing gear I have… I was thinking of buying innerwear from Skins but I think a sports bra would suffice. Right, I’m glad my helmet and gloves are ready in time for the race. Do give us your fullest support and I hope to bring you good news on Saturday night!