Skills and Knowledge
Essential Motorsports Equipment
Having the right equipment for the track is first and foremost for safety, but also for comfort to better enjoy your HPDE or track day experience.
A helmet is the most essential piece of equipment you need at the track. You will need a dedicated auto racing helmet - motorcycle or bicycle helmets will not work and may not be approved by the event organizer. You should stick to helmets that are rated with a SA certification (a racing helmet standard created by Snell) and include the year of approval (e.g. SA2015 or SA2020). Event organizers will generally require certified helmets and may specify a minimum year of approval, so make sure to double check when signing up for an event. Helmets with older certification years may be cheaper as they expires sooner, but we recommend getting the latest for the long term.
We highly recommend you try on helmets at your local race shop so you can find one that best suits your head shape. If you absolutely have to purchase sight unseen, we recommend this one →
Wear comfortable clothing made of 100% cotton. This is for safety reasons, as cotton will burn if caught on fire instead of melt like synthetic fabrics. Long sleeve shirts and long pants provide the most protection from the sun and chafing, but they can get pretty warm in the summer, so opt for lighter colors and breathable weaves. Some event organizers require long sleeve clothing and pants, so check with your organizer before your event.
For those who want the most protection, a race suit SFI-rated for flame protection and durability is the way to go. At higher levels of competition and racing, race suits are mandatory.
Gloves help keep grip on the steering wheel if your hands get sweaty during a session. Proper racing gloves are certified for fire, so should protect you in the event of fire. As a beginner, you’ll be fine without racing gloves, but if you find it hard to grip the steering wheel mid-session, gloves are worthwhile purchases.
Affordable, good quality gloves →
Flat, slim-soled shoes provide the most feedback from the pedals to your feet. This will allow finer modulation of your pedals, which lets you drive with more control and speed. Racing shoes will provide additional fire protection as well as solid feedback from the pedals. Do not wear sandals or open-toe shoes - they are not ideal for safety and will often be banned by event organizers.
A pair of slim-soled sneakers will usually do the trick, but if you want a pair of entry-level racing shoes, we recommend RaceQuip again →
Tools and other gear to bring
We provide a list of everything else you should bring in