The History of Racing Suits

The racing suit, also known as racing overalls, are fire suits that provide fire protection, and are used in various forms by racers all over the world, as well as the members of the teams that work on the cars. When racing was first introduced, there were no mandated uniforms, and it remained this way until the 1950’s. From then onward, specialised suits were created to help the drivers maintain perfect temperatures through heat transfer, and later to protect the drivers from any fires that may break out during a race.

By 1967, almost all of those competing in Formula One, NASCAR, and the USAC Champ Car – the predecessor to modern day Indy Car – began to make use of specialised fire suits. These modern suits, which use materials first introduced in the 1960’s, have been refined over the years to the sleek, modern suits that most drivers make use of today, and the suits that are seen worn by drivers while watching F1 in between games.

The History

Before specialised racing suits were mandated by racing organisations around the world, it was common for racers to wear whatever was most comfortable for them. NASCAR drivers, for example, would wear casual street clothing, such as jeans and simple shirts.

During the 1950’s, NASCAR Grand National driver Tim Flock started to wear a special racing suit that would later become more popular in the 1960’s This was also the time that these suits were being produced with special linings on the inside that were there to help the driver regulate their internal temperature while on the track.

Some years later, these suits would begin to be soaked in special chemical solutions in order to give them a degree of fire protection, giving the driver enough time to escape to a safe distance should a fire start while driving or during a crash.

The late 1950’s saw the start of mass production of fire retardant suits after a series of fiery crashes that saw the drivers become injured or die due to the fire and heat from the cars. Suits continued to be worked upon over the years, and more advanced materials were integrated into them, such as Kevlar, which provides both fire and impact protection for even the worst of crashes.

This was especially popular among F1 drivers, who saw some of the worst collisions in the driving world. By the 1990’s, several organisations around the world have made protective racing suits mandatory for all events, and the rules have been enforced ever since.

The Suit Design

The suits are designed to cover the driver’s entire body, as well as crew members and marshals. Long pant legs and long sleeves are mandatory, with many suits simply being one-piece overalls, similar in many ways to a boiler suit, although some suits are also two pieces.

There are often a number of layers in the suit, all of which are designed to protect the wearer against external fire while also providing a degree of thermal regulation while n a hot car.