Why Are Racing Gloves So Important?
No, it’s not just because they look good.
Racing gloves are not just for show; they’re for much, much more than that.
Imagine this, your drifting around curves up a mountain with super nasty, sweaty hands, and then -whoops- your hand slips off the steering wheel when you really need to turn. Your sweaty hands have caused you to fall off a cliff.
You didn’t like that one? Okay, let’s try another scenario.
Your drifting around curves on top of a mountain, you’ve been drifting and driving at high speeds for like, an hour. The vibrations from your car cause hand fatigue and sluggishness. You try to turn, and -oops- you fly off a cliff because it took you too long to turn the wheel and switch to the right gears.
Again, The End.
There are SO many more scenarios that I can go through to make my point, but that would take too long. My point is gloves protect your hands from things like fire, sharp objects, hand fatigue, etc.
How? Well, I’ll tell you. Here are just 3 things that gloves do for racers around the world.
1) Gloves Can Protect Your hands From Fire and Other Hazardous Things
Highspeed racing is dangerous (but fun), and hundreds of people have died from crashes. On November 29th of 2020, Romain Grosjean, an F1 driver for Hass, slammed into a barrier and literally blew up.
Romain Grosjean was trapped in his car for over 27 seconds after slamming into a barrier at 119mph (192kph). The flames from his car were so hot that the track marshals couldn’t even get close to extinguish the flames.
Thank goodness he got out with only a few burns that will heal up relatively quickly.
A normal car explosion can be as hot as 1,500F degrees. Keep in mind that water boils at 212F degrees and food usually cooks at less than 500F. His hands should have been inoperable and burnt to the bone. But something prevented the fire from absolutely destroying his hands.
Guess what it was.
Yes, his gloves.
His gloves kept his hands from being nothing more than exposed bones.
Let me clarify one thing. No matter the glove, if you’re in a car explosion for a long period of time, Your Hands WILL Burn.
Racing gloves (Or the ones of good quality) will have a certain material called, Aramid fibers or Aromatic Polyamide. This material is so strong that it’s used in body armor, aerospace (yes, aerospace), ballistic protection, and more super awesome things.
It’s the same as Kevlar, more flexible than Carbon Fiber and 4–5 times lighter than titanium. That’s a pretty cool material if you ask me.
Most professional gloves are made of Aramid Fiber or Nomex. Nomex is pretty much the same thing as Aramid Fiber, just weaved and made a little differently.
2) Hand Fatigue
For those who go to GoKart tracks and kick butt for hours on end as I do, you know what I mean when I say hand fatigue. For those who don’t kick butt on the race track, I’ll explain it to you.
When you’re racing at high speeds the vibration from the tires of your car or GoKart is, in short, transferred into your steering wheel. The jiggling of the steering wheel messes with your hands.
Your hands start feeling like it’s falling asleep and even after you’re done racing it feels really heavy and sluggish.
Anyway, racing gloves dampen those vibrations allowing your hands to stay stronger longer (Hey that rhymed!). If you're in a highspeed race or even just driving like a loon your hands Will be affected by the vibrations coming from that wheel.
And it messes with your racing groove.
3) They Look AWESOME
I’m not gonna lie, some of these gloves be looking kinda nice. Imagine yourself in some super cool-looking racing gloves that match your racing suit.
There are different colors or designs on racing gloves and some look better than others but all in all the whole point of racing gloves is to KEEP YOUR HANDS SAFE.
OMP and Sparco racing gloves have the coolest designs in my opinion, and they also are probably the best quality too. Racing gloves are pretty expensive, but they are definitely worth it if you are a racer or an illegal street racer (Not that I approve…😏).
Still Not Convinced??
Okay, there’s not much more I can do or say to convince you. The blood and burnt flesh are off my hands.
I will say this though.
If you don’t race, this is just an article to pretty much for your curiosity of why racers wear gloves. For people who race and don’t wear gloves, I kinda get why.
As a person who likes to drive and -according to my dad- speeds on the regular, you want to be able to feel the steering wheel. To be able to grip and control the car without any fabric to dampen the connection.
I get it… I do.
But safety comes first.