SI Vault
 
TOPPED OFF
Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
June 23, 1997
Protecting the race car driver is only part of a helmet's task. It's also a communications center, drink dispenser and work of art. Here's how Team Penske star Paul Tracy heads into an Indy Car race:
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 23, 1997

Topped Off

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Protecting the race car driver is only part of a helmet's task. It's also a communications center, drink dispenser and work of art. Here's how Team Penske star Paul Tracy heads into an Indy Car race:

Earphones
Radio jack plugs into receiver

Nomex fire-retardant head sock
Protects Tracy from fire for the few seconds it takes to get out of the car

During the race, Tracy can peel off tabbed sheets of clear film as visor gets dirty

Thin padding
Inner shell: polypropylene
Outer shell: carbon Kevlar
Microphone

Tube squirts beverage into mouth (Tracy's choice: water)

24-karat gold initials
Tracy's signature design is by artist Troy Lee, who first dips the helmet in chrome. Holographic paint flecks sparkle in the sun

1