We have seen cars damaged at races and track days by corner workers and tow truck drivers many times. Often the damage caused by recovering the car is worse than the accident damage or whatever damage caused the car to need a tow in the first place. Unlike your AAA tow truck driver, the recovery guy at the track isn’t focused on not damaging your car, his job is to clear the track as quickly as possible so the action can resume. Because of this, we have found that the best way of preventing damage to your car is to make the job of the recovery crew as easy as possible. The first way to do this is to have easily accessible and visible, sturdy tow hooks on both ends of your car. Many race and drift sanctioning bodies require this but a lot of track day groups do not. Raceseng, a high-quality manufacturer of billet parts ranging from shift knobs to camber/caster plates also happens to make a range of extremely high-quality racing tow hooks that are available in universal and custom fit applications for any car that comes from the factory with a tow hook socket. Our Project FR-S is getting a set of the tow hooks because it had been damaged by the tow truck drivers at a recent track day where they ripped off the rear diffuser and damaged the splitter due to a hasty hookup and we did not want to repeat that needless expense again.
The Raceseng tow hooks are amazing in build quality and attention to detail. They are also pretty highly engineered. The FR-S tow hook set has a specific fitment with the longer shaft version for the rear and the shorter shaft for the front. Raceseng sells the hook rings and the shafts separately in many different lengths if you wanted to build your own set if your car isn’t listed in their fitment charts.
There is more than meets the eye when you look closely at the shaft. The end is tapered for ease of installation without cross-threading. At the start of the shank, there is a taper to avoid a stress riser. The shaft is electro-zinc plated, then powder-coated for corrosion resistance, even on the threaded area. If you have aluminum bumper beams, this is important to prevent galvanic corrosion and seizing.
Notice the hook eye. Look at the rounded contours with more meat around the base of the ring. Notice how the cross-section of the eye tapers to the end. This is all to add strength where it’s needed and to remove material where it’s not to reduce weight. It would have been cheaper just to cut this part from an aluminum plate but the hook is 3D milled to get this shape. Although the tow hook is available in various powder-coated colors, we chose red to make them more obvious for the tow truck drivers to see. The tow hook can withstand 8000lbs in a straightpull.
I purchased this for my 350Z based on your review… and you were right – its just as good/high quality as you said it would be! Thanks!
I have been a nationally licensed SCCA Course Marshall since 1997. I have towed a lot of cars off the track since then. We do not encourage drivers to use the threaded hole the bumper for the tow eye. That screw in may be barely OK for getting a dead car onto a roll back, but we have found that the metal behind those threads isn’t normally strong enough to hold up to a pull half way around a road course with the driver dragging the brakes to keep the rope tight. We have seen more than a few be ripped out of the bumper. And not because we try to brutalize dead race cars. Quite the opposite.
We recommend that the tow eye be firmly bolted to the main frame of the car. The same goes for a mesh style rig made from a recovery strap. SCCA rules demand that a 2 inch ID eye be fitted front and back but little is said about “how” to mount said tow eye. The little hole in the bumper cover is quick and convenient but this is a safety issue for both the driver of the race car and the people in the recovery vehicle. Attach your tow eye onto the strongest frame you can find.