Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Driver Safety Part 1 (Being Safe and Looking Like a Million Bucks While Doing It)

Project Professional Awesome Time Attack Evo: Driver Safety Part 1 (Being Safe and Looking Like a Million Bucks While Doing It)

by Daniel O'Donnell

There’s an interesting thing I’ve learned when it comes to safety in racing. It’s never a priority until you’ve had you first experience with a concrete barrier. Concrete puts a new perspective on life. One starts to plan and prepare to reduce chances of injuries if a second experience were to occur. An accident will also have you reevaluating the quality of equipment you use. Gone are the days when a borrowed motorcycle helmet with a missing visor and paint chips seem like a wise tool to protect your noggin.

 

This is the concrete barrier that changed my life. Knocked me unconscious, destroyed a car and forever made me grateful for the safety equipment used by the team. Read all about it and watch the video in MotoIQ's coverage of the 2013 Global Time Attack at Road Atlanta.

With this in mind, I’ve been slowly, but surely, upgrading my safety gear. What we have today is the first of a two part series about the pieces I’ve put in place to keep the team from having to find a replacement driver.

We’re starting off today with one area that’s been a concern for me for a few years now. It was time to bite the bullet and replace one of the first lines of defense for a driver, the racing suit. Suits serve multiple purposes, with the most important being fire protection. Our passion is a fun one, but one that requires gallons of highly flammable liquid to be pumped throughout the vehicle and combusted at high temperatures and pressures. This of course leads to racing incidents regularly involving fires, which, like the chance of pregnancy, is something I’d rather not have to deal with without protection.

 

Here's the old suit. Faded with ripped seams, it served its purpose, but was ready for retirement. Notice how short the length of the legs are. Once I sat down in the car, the highwaters rose and exposed my delicate legs.

 

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