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Quashing the Helmet Questions

You might be wondering, what happens at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team workshop away from the track?

The answer? We like to bust the hard-hitting questions, and there’s been a few that have rolled across our desk that we would like to settle relating to one particular topic – driver helmets.

Why does SVG wear a visor on his helmet but JDub does not?

SVG: “It’s not something I’ve thought about really. There’s no real reason why I use one, I just always have. Sometimes I run it up, sometimes I run it down.”

JDub (aka Captain Team No-Visor): “I don’t think a visor is needed in a Supercar, as you have a windscreen that does the job of a visor. For me, looking through a second pane of plastic isn’t necessary.”

How do you decide what artwork to put on your helmet? 

SVG: “I’m fortunate enough to be a Red Bull athlete, so I work with those guys to come up with a cool design every year. I like to make sure I add a few Kiwi touches as well.”

JDub: “I work with my helmet painter every year to come up with new and fresh designs. The fantastic brands I represent have a major say in what they want to see from the design first and then I add my personal touch after that.”

How often do you change your helmet?

SVG: “I travel with two helmets for every race event, but I like to use the same one and will only swap if I have to. I’ll bring in a new helmet and design usually once a year in time for the big races like Bathurst or New Zealand.”

JDub: “I generally use two helmets a year. They wear out pulling them on and off all the time plus some rubbing on the belts, but mainly due to hygiene from the amount of sweat they see over race meetings.”

What role does a HANS (Head and Neck Support) device play in driver safety?

SVG: “I’ll let JDub answer that one…”

JDub: “The HANS device plays a massive role in driver safety.  It’s another layer of protection for drivers to put on before they get in the car which is sometimes annoying, but worth its weight in gold in a crash.”

Do you have to train/strengthen your neck given the added weight on your head when racing?

SVG: “Not really, I usually do a lot of cardio training. We don’t have to train our necks like you see the Formula 1 driver do.”

JDub: “Supercars don’t have the downforce to warrant any neck training. In saying that, at Adelaide at the start of the season after three months off, by the end of the race the neck is starting to labour a little and super sore the next few days following.”

So, there you have it. Now, back to the lab to answer the next batch of burning questions…