SPA Fire Systems: They Really Do Work!

In January 2013, OG Racing held a drawing for two SPA 4L Mechanical on board fire systems.  All that the entrants had to do was register for the drawing at www.ogracing.com.  No purchase necessary.  The winners were chosen in April 2013.  One of the winners was Kyle Nilson.  He shares a Miata with his friends Erich Pfalzgraf, and Randy Sams from Iowa who race the car with several different organizations.

On Saturday, July 23rd, the guys were at Iowa Raceway Park of the Midlands in a World Racing League (WRL) 8 Hour endurance race.  After a couple of off track excursions, the exhaust broke near the fuel filter.  The guys think that the hot exhaust gasses blowing onto the fuel filter, caused fuel vapors to escape from the filter’s plastic fittings.  The vapors accumulated and then were ignited about 5 hours into the race while Randy was at the wheel.  As he accelerated into Turn 6 a fire ignited and entered the cockpit behind the driver’s seat.  Once Randy realized what was happening, he quickly shut the power off to the car, and pulled off track near the closest corner station and triggered the fire system.  The nozzles pointed at the driver kept the fire at bay as Randy safely exited the car.  Thanks to the SPA fire system and his Alpinestars nomex driver’s suit, Randy was unharmed.  By then the corner worker was on scene with his dry chemical fire bottle and they were able to fully extinguish the remaining flames.  Randy’s seat took one for the team and was no longer usable.  Had they had a replacement handy, Randy and Erich could have raced on Sunday.

Kyle said they learned a few things at the end of the day when analyzing what happened.  “More correctly place nozzles are never a bad thing,” said Kyle.  The SPA 4L systems will support up to 6 nozzles which are included in the complete kit.  Some lower capacity systems out there will only support 2-3 nozzles effectively.  “In a Miata, having a nozzle pointed at both the rear of the seat, and the driver’s feet would have increased the amount of time to escape and possibly would have completely extinguished the blaze.”  Kyle also said, “Nozzles in the trunk and engine bay are always helpful, but multiple angles are a must in the driver’s compartment.”  Furthermore according to Kyle, “the extinguisher trigger should be easy to activate when belted into the driver’s seat.  We installed the fire switch alongside our engine kill switch near the passenger window and this was difficult for Randy to pull completely in the heat of the moment.  The system still triggered, but a more central location will be used in the future to ensure easy access.”

Kyle also said that AFFF is very easy to clean up.  Dry Chemical, not so much.  The guys are already hard at work cleaning up the car and replacing the seat and harness while the SPA bottle is going to be inspected and recharged.  They will be back racing the Miata at the WRL 24 Hour endurance race on August 27-28 at High Plains Raceway in Colorado.

So based on Kyle, Erich, and Randy’s story, if you don’t have an on board fire system in your race car, it might be time to consider installing one.   I want to thank Kyle, Erich, and Randy for sharing their story so others can learn from their experience and thank you to Randy Patten for providing the photos.

 

ogfire2 ogfire1

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NASA Mid Atlantic D-Day Dogfight at Summit Point

classroom A5 and Honda moby GT3 battle for 3rd DJ bump draft Cobetto M3 on scales Miata Beach TJ e30 pace car SP VMM3 Thunder 1 spec 3 SP MiatasAfter my trip to Watkins Glen for the Porsche Clash, I was back at Summit Point for NASA Mid Atlantic’s D-Day Dogfight. Chris Cobetto and his staff always put on a good event. NASA track events are great events to attend as a spectator if you are thinking about getting into driving on the track and want to see what it’s all about. You get to see it all. There’s high performance driver education (HPDE), racing, and time trials, all rolled into a single event. The paddock was packed with cars and drivers participating in all three aforementioned activities.

For this event, I brought Chris Thompson, National Sales Manager for Motorsports for Alpinestars to do classroom sessions on safety gear for the HPDE participants. He explained the latest technology in fire resistant gear, and why if you are going to drive a car on a racetrack at triple digit speeds, you should consider adding some fire resistant gear to your gear bag. This wasn’t a sales pitch to buy Alpinestars products. The point was to educate the HPDE participants on why they should be prepared in case of fire since though we do not plan on it, it can and does happen on occasion.

Now to the action on track. After qualifying under sunny skies, the racing commenced in the afternoon with the Thunder group getting down to business first. The ST2 Corvette of Brad Neff and the ST3 M3 of D.J. Fitzpatrick lead the field to the green flag. Neff led the way with Fitzpatrick giving chase and they finished the race 1-2, both turning sub 1:20 laps. In the growing Spec E46 class, Rob Gagliardo took the win with Bobby Watson and Jeff Hall rounding out the podium. Matt Wasilewski took the win in a field of six GTS2 cars while Wes Dearing took the win in American Iron with Bill Greene winning American Iron Xtreme, and Russ Carter in Camaro-Mustang Challenge.

Just over an hour later, The Lightning Race took place. Lightning group is usually made up of the PT, Spec Miata, Spec E30, Spec 3, and GTS-1. The two great battles that I watched intently were in Spec 3 and Spec E30. The top four Spec 3 cars ran closely together the entire race. The lead changed hands multiple times with Rob Talastas and Jon McAvoy swapping positions multiple times throughout the race, with McAvoy taking a hard fought win. Over in Spec E30, Robert Grace and Jason Griscavage ran 1-2 the whole race, while a tight battle took place behind them for 3rd place. Former Spec E30 National Champion Chris Cobetto was locked in a serious scrap with Chris Allen and TJ Joyce. In the end it was TJ Joyce claiming his first Spec E30 podium after driving a great race. While all this was going on, Tyler Kicera took the win in a field of 17 Spec Miatas over Mark Cefalo and Adam Molaver.

There was an abundance of good close racing in both races and all the drivers put on a good show for the spectators. This week, I am off to NJMP to visit NASA NE, then down to VIR for the PCA Rumble at the Oak Tree club race. See you at the track!

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Porsche Clash at the Glen

991 Cup Lizards Boxster start Busy pits Clarke 997 Cory RSR Fabcar GT4 2 Gt4 3 GT4 Cup Jager 6 Cup Robbie scales unnamedWe are getting into the summer months and the 2016 track season is in full swing. The first weekend of June means it’s time for me to head north to New York and the famous Watkins Glen for the Porsche Clash. I brought my kids along on this trip to see their grandparents who were part of the PCA volunteer crew. The “Clash” as it’s affectionately referred to by the racers who attend, is one of the biggest races in the country on the PCA Club Racing calendar. The Clash was also one of the races that make up the PCA Club Racing GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series. This is a special race series for the Cayman GT4 Clubsport that is new to PCA Club Racing in 2016.

Making up the entry list was a strong field of Spec Boxsters, 996 and 997 GT3 Cups, 944 Cup cars spread across the SP1 through SP3 classes, and the usual gaggle of other stock class cars. The weather at Watkins Glen can be all over the place this time of year. I have been at this event wearing a sweatshirt, sweating in a polo shirt, or looking for an umbrella. This year it was short sleeves weather Friday and Saturday, with rain finally making an appearance on Sunday for the enduros. As usual the action on track was great whether you were racing or watching. There was even a Flying Lizards 991 GT3 Cup R, dueling with the Autometrics 997 RSR driven very well by Cory Friedman. Racing in the Spec Boxster class was exciting at the front with perennial front runner Matt Muller battling it out with Todd Lamb and Sean Gibbons for the top spot on the podium. There was also a great duel for the win in E Class between Evan Close and Mark Hupfer. Both broke Mark’s previous track record but it was Evan taking the win in a very close race.

The rain finally made an appearance on Sunday just in time for the enduros. Changing conditions at the start of the Orange enduro had the racers guessing on whether to go full wets or intermediates, except for the Spec Boxsters since they only have one choice. In the end, the SP3 968 of Ed Dunne took the overall win and the top finishing Spec Boxster was driven by Todd Lamb, while Mark Wolff won SP2. The Purple enduro began in very wet conditions with Charlie Belluardo and Carlos Gomez leading the field to the green flag. In the end John Uglum took the top spot on the podium followed by Charlie Belluardo and Jack McCarthy. A special shout out to Clarke Simpson for bringing his E Class 1977 911 home in 5th place overall ahead of some newer hardware. By the time the White enduro took the green flag, I was on my way back to Virginia. For complete results from the PCA Porsche Clash at the Glen, visit https://www.pca.org/race-results

Next up was the NASA Mid Atlantic D-Day Dogfight at Summit Point. Stay tuned, and see you at the track!

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Jefferson 500 at Summit Point

Coleman on grid Coleman Z Bridge Brumos 914 Alan and George BMW and 914 Dan and Susan Datsun and Triumph drop a wheel Grid and pace jag Jim scottIt’s May at Summit Point and that means it’s time for the Annual Jefferson 500, hosted by Brian Redman. It’s been over 10 years since I raced in this event, but I still enjoy coming out to walk the paddock and take in the racing action. The Jefferson 500 always attracts some very neat and special race cars. The Jefferson 500 was started over 20 years ago when Summit Point’s founder Bill Scott got together with racing legend Brian Redman to bring vintage racing to Summit Point Motorsports Park. They sent out invitations to their racing friends and colleagues and the rest is history.

The Jefferson 500 brings out vintage sports cars from Porsche, Ford, Chevrolet, MG, Triumph, Morgan, Datsun, any many more. This year’s Grand Marshall was 24 Hours of LeMans winner in GT2 Class and TV commentator Justin Bell. Yes, the son of racing legend Derek Bell. Things kicked off this year with a race school on May 11 and 12, with open practice also on May 12. The racing got under way on Friday May13.

Mother Nature wasn’t entirely cooperative so the racers were faced with a wet track most of Friday. A lot of drivers ventured out onto the track, but some stayed in the paddock. The rain took a break Saturday for the first half of the day, so the morning races were run under dry conditions. One of the highlights for me was seeing the old OG Racing 911 back in action at the hands of long time racer and Summit Point legend Dave Coleman. Dave has had a storied career racing Porsches in SCCA, PCA, HSR and many other venues. Dave started 20th in his first sprint race since he didn’t qualify on Friday because of the wet conditions. Within just a few laps he was on point, after taking the lead from a very fast Lotus. He went on to finish 1st, but since grid positions for race two were based on fast lap from race 1, he started in the 2nd grid position. Dave took the lead quickly and went on to win his second race as well. Watching Dave wheel a race car around Summit Point is a treat since he’s been doing it since I was diapers playing with Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars in my playpen. I was lucky that the schedule allowed me to catch both of Dave’s races since I had to depart early to make it to my neighbor’s wedding back in Charlottesville. I’ll leave the rest of the results to the organizers so if you are interested, they can be found at http://www.vrgonline.org/events/. Enjoy the photos.

This week it is back down to VIR for NASA Mid Atlantic’s HyperFest and the Grassroots Motorsports Ultimate Track Car Challenge. I’ll report back on these events next week. See you at the track!

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Cville Cars and Coffee Gathering

65 Corvette 930 T 2002 and vette Bus and miata Duster Elise Evo and 987 Gwagon M3 and Porsches Lotus and Audi Morgan and TR4 Morgan resto Morgan S6 VW camperI can’t believe it is May already though you’d never know it from the weather we have been having. But the track season is in full swing anyway. In addition to getting together at the track, gear heads also like to congregate at social events as well. Down in Charlottesville VA where I live, there are a lot of car enthusiasts who like to gather every month for the Cville Cars and Coffee. We even have a Facebook page.

So on May 7th, I stayed local and decided to attend with my neighbor in his Mini Paceman S. This event brings out a wide variety of cars. We get everything from several Morgans, a couple MGs, a V10 Audi S6, Porsche GT3, Lotus Elise set up for time trials. There was even an LS powered Miata with a huge rear mounted turbo charger, along with a 1979 Mercedes G Wagon. We also had a good turnout from my local PCA friends, a few NASA racers, and even a well known author Maggie Stiefvater who this time brought out her not so stock Mitsubishi Evo.

So enjoy the pics! Next up was the Jefferson 500 at Summit Point which I will talk about in the next write up. See you at the track.

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Hershey, Porsches, and SCCA Majors at Summit Point

Singer 1 Singer 2 Singer 3 51 997 Cup 904 and Gt3 904 and GT4 904 on track 904 and GT4 pits Coleman in 904 Ferrari and GT3 Provost SPB Provost SPBs SCCA sign SCCA M1 SCCA M SRF SCCA M GT1 Mustang SCCA M GT2 vette SCCA m2 SCCA M T2 cars SCCAM GT2 cars SCCA M Evo and Mustang SCCA M CaddyIt’s been a few weeks since my last post. In that time, I journeyed to Hershey PA for the Annual Porsche Club of America Swap Meet. This event has been hosted by the Central PA Region of PCA and 2016 marked the 40th Anniversary of the event. Event Chair Steve Baun couldn’t have come up with better weather if he paid off Mother Nature in vintage 911 parts. A light breeze with clear and very sunny skies welcomed vendors and attendees on the grounds of Hershey Park. As anyone who has attended this event before, row upon row of vintage and modern Porsche parts, posters, model cars, and both project cars and running and driving Porsches for sale lined the grounds. I didn’t get a chance to walk the swap meet since I was busy at the OG Racing tent where we had great deals on SA2010 helmets, discontinued Sparco driving suits, and other products at special Hershey prices. I was asked by the organizers if a special car could be parked at the one end of our vendor space which turned out to be one of the Singer 911s. These are special custom 911s built to look like the longhood versions built from 65-73 but done on the 964 chassis produced from 1989-94. Owners get retro styling with modern underpinnings like coil-over shocks, ABS and a special 4.0L air cooled flat six. These cars are completely hand assembled and the craftsmanship is truly something that must be seen in person to truly appreciate what Singer does in their builds. All in all it was a great event and if you are a Porsche fan, you need to make sure to attend the swap meet if you haven’t done so already.

Next up was the Schattenbaum Region of PCA Drivers Education event at Summit Point. Among the typical collection of later model Porsches was a truly special model that is more commonly seen on the lawn at Amelia Island, or Monterey these days rather than on a race track. How often do you see a 1964 Porsche 904 in the paddock and later on the track 52 years after the first ones were built? This particular 904 was the 14th one Porsche built and was last raced in 1972. Its current owner purchased the car around 1975 after it had been involved in an incident on the track and subsequently parked. The car was complete with its 2.0L Type 547 4-cam engine designed by the legendary Ernst Fuhrmann. Once the track dried out, the 904 returned to the race track 41 years after its last outing. It certainly had a unique sound and looked tiny even when next to a 981 Cayman. It held its own among later model Porsches with more horsepower and modern technology.

After back to back Porsche Club events, it was back to Summit Point for the SCCA Majors event at Summit Point last weekend. Majors races are where you will find SCCA racers looking to qualify for the Runoffs, SCCA’s National Championships held annually. This year the Runoffs will be back at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course for the first time since 2006. You will see most of the same cars at a Majors race that also race in the regional series. This event had a good contingent of SSM and SM Miatas, several old Trans Am cars running in GT1, Corvettes and a Porsche running in GT2, as well as large field of SRF and SRF3, and a good number of Formula cars. The weather didn’t exactly cooperate so drivers were faced with a wet track in the morning. Conditions improved as the day wore on and the as is typical at an SCCA race weekend, there was plenty of action on track especially in SM and SSM with multiple lead changes throughout the races. The paddock was full and as usual, the DC Region of SCCA put on one of its typical well run events.

As we roll into May, the on track action of the summer season is swinging into high gear. Upcoming events are Hyper Fest at VIR, The Porsche Clash at the Glen, and many more so I will be wracking up miles on the OG Racing mobile office as I make it to as many of the summer events as humanly possible. See you at the track!

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Porsches, Audis, and SCCA

Audi R8 SPde George SP Grid SP DE GT4 SP zac BMW Sp Acura General Li IT 2 MARRS 1 SP GT RP Miatas Scooby SRF SSM MARRS1 Audi VIR Cayman VIR IMG_0676 IMG_0673It’s been a few weeks since my last post, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been on the road since my visit to Dominion Raceway Park at the end of March. Since then it’s been two trips to Summit Point and a quick visit to VIR.

I started off April 1st with a trip to Summit Point for PCA Potomac Regions first DE event of the year. Since OG Racing is the official sponsor of the Potomac Region’s DE program, I try to make it to a couple of these a year to walk the paddock. Friday was an instructor day with new instructor candidates completing their training and being welcomed into the instructor corps. I had a chance to get a session on the track in a soon to be PCA H Class Cayman S, thanks Vranko! Saturday morning began your typical PCA Potomac DE weekend with instructor and drivers meeting. Since it’s been a while since I instructed (yes I actually have been an instructor since 2000) so I was assigned a green student in a Porsche Macan S. My student did very well and I was very impressed with how capable the Macan was on the track, even while equipped with all season tires. Took rides in two 944s with a couple of hot shoe kids (they’ve already gone racing) and realized I may not be as fast as I used to be! One needed his checkout ride to go PCA Club Racing so I took care of that as well. As usual, there was the typical selection of GT3, several GT4s, Corvettes, BMWs, and even an Audi fully caged and race ready. I made many new track friends and it was fun to get back in the right seat.

Next up was back to Summit Point of SCCA’s MARRS 1. For those of you who aren’t familiar with SCCA racing, the Washington D.C. Region’s annual race series is called the Mid Atlantic Road Racing Series (MARRS) and it was the first race weekend of the year, hence the moniker, MARRS 1. OG Racing is the “Official Motorsports Supplier” to the D.C. Region so it’s important for me to make it to as many MARRS races as my travel schedule allows. Well the weather was a little different than just week earlier. While drivers were enjoying temperatures in the 80s on April 1, it was 43 on April 9th, and windy. I had a helper with me on this trip in the form of my 9 year old son. He loves coming to the track so he asked to come along this trip. The car counts were good and as usual the SSM field was the largest at the event and as usual the battle at the front contained some familiar faces. There was good racing in the big bore group which was made up of a few old stock cars, Mustangs, Corvettes, and even an Acura and a Porsche.

Following the MARRS Race on Saturday, by Monday I was on my way to VIR for the Audi Advanced Drivers School. This special event was for solo drivers only. In addition to lots of track time, participants were treated to a few classroom sessions as a bonus. Professional driver coach and data wizard Peter Krause spoke about driving VIR and shared some of his vast knowledge of the use of data acquisition systems and video to help make you faster. Peter has over 15,000 laps around VIR in many different cars and is has a wealth of knowledge that is loves to share. If you get a chance to attend one of Peter’s seminars, do it. Following Peter’s talk was 2006 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona GT Class winner Michael Levitas, owner of Turbo Performance Center in Jessup MD. Mike covered how your suspension and tires work together to optimize your car’s handling and lap times. He also covered the latest advancements in suspension technology and how the computers in modern cars optimize suspension systems for maximum performance. And lastly, it was my turn to discuss the latest in driver safety gear technology that is helping the nut behind the wheel perform to the best of his/her ability and reduce fatigue. In the past, all us drivers just accepted that fire resistant suits, and under garments were supposed to hot and uncomfortable in order to protect us in the event of fire. Today that is not the case. Advancements in technology from the major manufacturers like Sparco, OMP, Alpinestars, and new innovative products coming from TraqGear have changed the game in motorsports by bringing moisture wicking and compression technology to fire resistant race wear.

Well that’s enough from me for this week. In a few days, I am off to Hershey for the Annual Porsche Club Swap Meet. If you are planning on attending, please stop by the OG Racing trailer.

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Things are Shaping Up at Dominion Raceway Park

Tower Band 3 Band 2 band 6 Band on track late model 1 late model 2 Late model 25 legends Sportsman 2 Sportsman U cars U cars U car 3Most track junkies living in the Mid Atlantic Region probably already have heard there is a new track nearly completed and is set to open soon. Dominion Raceway Park is conveniently located right off Interstate 95 in Thornburg VA. For those of you who do not live in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Thornburg is just south of Fredericksburg, on the stretch of I-95 between Washington D.C. and Richmond.

Construction is moving right along. The road course and the oval are paved. The building that will house race control, the restaurant, locker rooms, and the hospitality area is up and glass and interior going in. The road course is paved and the crews were working on the runoff areas, tire walls, and other track safety components. The oval was open for business this month for two practice days for late models, sportsman class cars, on down to U-cars and Bandoleros. The bleachers are in underneath the control building, and the framing for the catch fence is up.

I visited Dominion last weekend to check out the action on the oval and to get a look at the facility. It’s shaping up to be a top notch motorsports complex and the construction crews were hard at work while there was action on the oval track as they were holding an open practice. Cars went out on track according to class. I was really impressed watching the kids racing the Bandoleros. Talking to some of the dads who were serving as team owner, chief mechanic, and crew I found that most of these little guys were under 10 years old and had started in karts at 4-7 years old. Impressive to say the least.

Seeing all the work in progress shows that the track management is working hard to get Dominion Raceway Park up and running sooner rather than later. Can’t wait to do an event there, and I would love to take a crack at the oval at some point. This week it’s back to Summit Point for 3 days with PCA Potomac. See you at the track.

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No Seriously – Where is my SA2015 Helmet?

JUST UPDATED!! GF3 & GF1 Open Face Helmets in stock in all sizes!

Snell-Update years are generally one of the busiest for us as everyone is pushing and shoving to get the latest rating so that they can use the same helmet for the next 10+ years. While we generally don’t agree on this tactic for reasons of personal hygiene, we do respect the need for the latest rating and plan far enough ahead to make sure we’re stocked and ready to go for the season. At least that’s what we’ve done every other Snell-update year.

As you’ve probably heard by now, it’s really, really hard to get a hold of an SA2015 helmet right now. The biggest problem this season has been Bell production delays. Not to blame them for all of the ills of the world, but we typically rely on them to keep us stocked for Snell-Update year. We’ve played this game long enough to know that most other manufacturers are not ready to ship when the new rating drops, and generally take their time releasing new helmets. Bell also happens to easily account for over half of our overall helmet sales. They have the broadest offerings, best budget-priced helmets, and tend to have the most universal-fit.

Unfortunately, that means that we currently have a wait list for SA2015 Bell helmets numbering near triple-digits. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better. Right now, Bell is frantically trying to meet production demands in their new factory in Bahrain. Helmets are being air-shipped as soon as they move off the production line; but as the backlog is now so great, it probably won’t be until this summer until we have a comfortable stock to work with. OG-Racing did get our pre-season order in very early last year, which grants us a first-in-line status on just about everything. Of course that also means that we sold out of some of our initial shipments from last year already – if you have a helmet, congratulations on planning ahead!

If you’re hoping to get an SA2015 helmet for your first Spring event, and it’s out of stock, it’s safe to say it’s going to be a gamble on getting it in time. Luckily, most groups are aware of these delays and are allowing the use of SA2005 helmets through the year. If you’re completely new to the game and don’t have an SA2005 helmet, you should consider looking into an SA2010 (which we still have lots of really nice deals on); settling on a model you don’t really want that is in-stock (see below); or renting a helmet (yes, we rent helmets – call us).

To help make things a little more transparent, I’m listing out what we have below. You’ll notice many models are missing from the list – that’s because we don’t have them and don’t know when they’ll be here. For instance, some of the most sought after helmets, such as the M.8 and GT.5 Touring, were initially promised by Bell in February (which has come and gone). As a deadline passes, the best estimate I can provide is the following month – April in this case. Or go by the saying we use in the Motorsports Industry: it’ll be available when it shows up in the warehouse.

Note: The info below can change daily, and I’ll do my best to keep things updated. So if you see something that you want, I would suggest ordering asap. Our website uses a live inventory. If you see a backorder message (click here for details), that means someone else got to it first.

Bell Helmets:

Sport: X-Large Orange Only Out of Stock
Sport Edge: Small Only Out of Stock
Sport EV: Small/White Only Out of Stock
Sport Mag Open Face: Small-XL Available in White or Black (except Large/Black).

BR.1: Medium & X-Large Flat-Black Available
K1 Pro: Medium & X-Large White Available
Vador: All sizes in stock – Limited Color choice
GT.5 Touring: A batch of White helmets has arrived. After pre-orders were shipped, we have 7-1/8, 7-1/4, and 7-5/8+ remaining.

RS7: 7-1/8 and up available (limited color options)
RS7-Carbon: Some sizes available. 7-3/8, 7-5/8 Available
RS7-Carbon w/Duck Bill: All sizes except 7-5/8 In-Stock
Dominator.2: 7-1/8, 7-1/2 & 7-5/8+ Available (limited color options)

Simpson Helmets: Simpson has by far been the most reliable for SA2015 helmets so far. The budget priced Voyager.2 helmet is still in production, but we otherwise have good stock on the models we carry (click on the link above to see these). We’re working with Simpson to see which other models are currently available, and will release those offerings online as we hear about them. For now, any of the models on our site are for the most part in-stock.

G-Force Helmets: JUST UPDATED!! GF3 & GF1 Open Face Helmets in stock in all sizes, but not all colors.

Arai Helmets: Our inventory is spotty on these. Seems like as soon as one is purchased, it takes 2-3 weeks to get another one in. Pre-ordering should be pretty safe at this point, but will probably still take a few weeks if not currently in-stock.

HJC Helmets: HJC is not planning on releasing an SA2015 rated helmet until 2017 (next year) at the earliest.

Sparco Helmets: Sparco is not planning on releasing an SA2015 helmet until late Summer at the earliest.

Updated: April 19, 4:28 PM

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Want to Go Faster on the Track? AIM Data Seminar with Roger Caddell

AIM 1 AIM 3 AIM 4 AIM 2As most of you reading this have probably already figured out, club racing has really evolved over the last decade. Technology that was pretty much only utilized at the professional level, has found its way down into the cars and paddock in club racing. When I ran my first race nearly 16 years ago, hardly anyone was using radios for the driver to talk to his crew during the race. If you wanted video, chances are you had a Sony Handy Cam mounted to an IO Port camera mount, and tethered to the roll cage with the included strap. Data acquisition was only something seen at the professional level.

The market in data acquisition for us mere mortals has really taken off over the past seven to ten years. Gone are the days where we club guys/girls had to settle for a lap timer, with a beacon that needed to be placed on the pit wall to trip the receiver mounted in the car. For a lot of us, me included, we made due with a stopwatch attached to the steering wheel, or a family member timing from the pit wall. Today, we have GPS based systems that know what track we are driving on at any given weekend, and will display times in real time. Companies like AIM Sports cover the whole gamut of data acquisition and video, to help drivers of all levels of skill to improve their technique and therefore go faster. The amount of data that even a basic AIM Solo and or SmartyCam can record can be overload for a novice driver. It’s what to do and how to use data acquisition that can be intimidating and scare off some drivers.

That’s why last weekend, OG Racing hosted a Data Acquisition Seminar and decided to bring in AIM data acquisition guru Roger Caddell to make sense of it all. Most people in the racing world know of Roger and the years of experience he brings to our hobby, both as a racer, driving coach for his son and his involvement in the continued evolution of data acquisition from the grassroots, to the professional levels of racing. We limited the size of the event so as too allow the attendees to soak up the most knowledge they could during the 6 hours Roger was speaking. After bagels, donuts, and some coffee, Roger got down to business. After a brief introduction, he got into the basics of “what is data acquisition, followed by an explanation of what it is, and how to use it. For those of us who aren’t the most technical savvy when it comes to gadgets, Roger spent some time covering the hardware installation and set up. After that, he got into how to interpret the data in Race Studio, and how to get the most of integrating the AIM SmartyCam into your set up.

It really is amazing how much you can see looking at the data recorded by devices like the AIM Solo DL, and MXL line of dash/loggers. It really has become a valuable tool that can help any driver, from the person who has a good understanding of the basic fundamentals of track driving; to the experienced racer find those couple of seconds down to just those last few tenths. If you ever run into Roger in the paddock, I highly recommend you pick his brain a little. He’s always happy to share his knowledge and help make us all a little faster.

Next week, it’s off to VIR for me to the Chump Car race on March 5th. See you at the track!

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