Ensure safety on the track with these pieces
By Nicole Ganglani | Photos by Kurt Babas
The autocross scene in the Philippines has seen its rise in the past few years. Thanks to festivities like the Toyota Vios Racing Festival and the Philippine Autocross Championships, the country has been more exposed to the sport. The rise of the sport has also given local enthusiasts like Reph Bangsil a chance to practice the sport more often.
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So, the 3rd leg of the #viosracingfestival just ended and i’m grateful to have bagged 2nd place! 🏆 There were a number of conditions that I was faced with like not being able to practice and racing in extreme rain, yet the Man up there was good to me. 😌 It was truly a moment to remember sliding and skidding around the track. I’d like to thank and congratulate everyone who was part of the journey! I’ve now had 1st, 3rd, and 2nd place wins. The last and 4th leg’ll take place at Clark Speedway come November! Hopefully we get the overall champion by then! 🏁 (swipe right to see us get soaked in beer!)
Bangsil, the first place finisher in this year’s Vios Racing Festival held in Mall of Asia Grounds, says that it’s important for every driver to have the right gear in order to ensure safety on the track. Besides safety, Bangsil also says that the right gear can significantly impact a driver’s performance.
“In racing, every little thing matters from mid-shifts or late brakes since they affect time. You also have to be really comfortable in your gear to make sure there are zero errors,” says Bangsil.
If you’re looking to get into the sport, here’s a rundown of essential autocross gear:
Snell M2015 or SA2015 Helmet
Bangsil stresses the importance of wearing a full-helmet in order to protect yourself from serious injuries. Helmets provide an additional protective layer for the head which keeps the driver save from serious impact. According to Sports Car Club of America rules, the required autocross helmets are those with the safety rating of Snell M2015 or Snell SA2015.
Fire-Retardant Racing Suit
This specific suit is crucial for racers because the sport is susceptible to fire incidents. A flame-retardant racing suit is designed to cover the entire body of the driver and protect them from potential fires. These suits can come in one, two, or three layers—the more layers a race suit has the greater the protection it can provide.
According to Bangsil, it’s important to select the most comfortable driving shoes because they play an important role in a driver’s performance, especially when they switch between pedals and gears. The proper race shoes should have thinner soles to allow the driver to get a feel of the pedals while the laces should be short and tucked under the velcro strap. Moreover, the perfect race shoes have high tops to provide padding protection to the ankle bone.
“You have to be really comfortable in your gear to make sure there are zero errors,” says Bangsil
Aside from providing better visibility, sunglasses also shield the eyes from debris, dust, and wind that may cause injuries or irritation.
The right race gloves for autocross are long enough to cover the entire wrist and the lower half of the forearm. The gloves should feel comfortable on the hands and fingers and must provide enough room where a driver can move their fingers. It’s a must for race gloves to go over the sleeves of a race suit so that the entire arm of the driver is protected while driving.
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