Today’s racing suits have many safety and comfort features that can be added to improve your racing experience. These features are usually built into the ixon racing suit at the time of manufacture and cannot be added to later. Knowing what each feature does is crucial for the purchase process. There are many leg and ankle cuts available when you start from the bottom of a racing suit. There are two leg options: the boot cut leg or the ankle cuff. The ankle cuff, shown here, provides greater protection due to its elastic cuff which hugs the ankle. The installation and removal of the suit/pants are easier with a boot cut. For safety reasons, you can get a boot-cut leg with an inner ankle cuff.
The waist is the next area to be considered as we progress up the ixon racing suit. Many racers will have an elastic waistband in their two-piece racing suits. For a slimmer fit and sleek appearance, some racing suits will include an elastic waistband. On one-piece suits, the elastic waistband will be replaced by a sewn-in belt. The belt is sewn into the suit using hook-and-loop material at the ends. The belt can be adjusted easily even while wearing your racing gloves, making it easy to adjust the waist. As we progress up the ixon racing suit, the optional back stretch panel will be next. The backstretch panel, which is a panel made of stretchy fabric and sewn into your firesuit’s back, is exactly what it sounds like. This panel is very popular for one-piece racing suits. It provides additional comfort and movement when you are in the driver’s chair of your race car.
There are two additional features that you should consider when it comes to the shoulders/arms. First, the floating arm stretch panel. This allows for additional movement of arms. Some suits have a panel that is 180 degrees, while others are full 360-degree. The 360-degree panel allows for the most freedom of movement. This feature is usually found in one-piece suits. The shoulder epaulets are located in the same place as the racing suit. They can be found on both one-piece or two-piece racing suits. To aid in driver extraction, epaulets are sewn into racing suits. They give the track safety crew something they can grab and pull the driver safely. A standard epaulet will be included with most ixon racing suits. However, you can also find racing suits with double-reinforced sewn Epaulets, such as this Sparco single-piece. These provide greater strength and more pull area. Double-reinforced racing suits are also becoming more popular for their styling aspects. Many drivers use this area to display sponsor logos.
What other features should a driver look out for in a racing suit or suit? Although pockets are not essential, some racers prefer to have them in their racing suits. This will be more noticeable in a two-piece suit’s pants, but you may also find pockets in a one-piece suit. This is just a personal preference and does not affect the safety of the racing suit.
We also have a variety of color and styling options. A typical SFI1 single-layer suit is available in solid colors. However, some suits come with arm strips and contrasting chest panels colors. You will find more elaborate designs in one-piece racing suits. As you progress to multi-later racing suits like the SFI5, quilting becomes more common. The quilting acts as a blanket and secures the layers. You can choose from straight or box quilting. Many quilted racing suits include piping around the edges, but you can also find SFI1 suits that have piping.
Can You Clean a Racing Suit?
Your racing suit will eventually need to be washed. The time required to clean your racing suit will depend on many factors such as how often you race, whether it is open or closed, the type of racing, and other factors. A dirt oval racer will need to be cleaned more often than someone who is racing drag. It is best to adhere to the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. Dry cleaning is recommended by most racing suit manufacturers. This can be a problem in time and cost, especially if you have to race the next weekend. That is why many racers machine washes racing suits. Use cold water and mild detergent, which is designed for delicate items, to wash your racing suit. The racing suit should be washed by itself. Make sure all hook-and-loop fasteners have been connected. Let the suit air dry. A single-layer firesuit with treated fabrics should not be washed. It would take a lot of washing cycles to reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. The Toolbox has additional information on cleaning a racing suit.