With the Holiday Season fast approaching many people are wondering what to get the racecar driver in their life. Why not get them some new safety gear, a useful tool or even some track side apparel. The old joke is you get socks or undies for the Holidays why not add some safety by getting nomex socks and undies instead.
Gifts Under $30
A tire pressure gauge: is an essential tool at the track for achieving fast lap times. I use a Joes Racing gauge that is at a good price point for quality. You can also spend a little more and get one with a hold valve to make reading the tire pressures easier.
Nomex socks: add some needed fire safety gear. Like all socks they get smelly and wear out over time. Why not get them some new socks they will actually love.
Vinyl names for the car: a great personal touch to any racecar is having the driver name and country flag. Your local sign shop or an online store should be able to help you out.
Visor tear offs: Racers go through a couple of tear offs throughout a weekend. A cheap gift idea is to buy a box for the driver in your life. Check their helmet brand and style to make sure they fit before buying. Buying in bulk can save you money. Your local race shop such as Wine Country Motor Sports should be able to help you.
Jack stands: A quality set of jack stands can be very useful in the garage or at the track and is a great safety item to show you care.
Gifts Under $50
A new balaclava: made of nomex can provide additional fire protection at a low cost point. There are two types a single or dual eye port, both work the same way. Replacing an old crusty balaclava with a new soft one will be a great comfort addition to a drivers kit.
A team hat or t-shirt: Nowadays it is relatively easy to get some custom apparel made up whether at a local brick and mortar store or online. Check out our trackside apparel article on some of the items we had made to get ideas.
A torque wrench: racers are always checking to see the lug nuts are tight before the next session a torque wrench can be a great gift. You want to get a 3/8" or 1/2" drive with a torque range of 20 to 150 ft-lbs.
Gifts Under $100
Gift cards for hotels: Racers tend to be on the road on the weekend and often need a place to crash. Why not get them a gift card to the local hotel near the track.
Gift cards for fuel: are a great idea. Whether for a tow rig or the racecar itself, all racers will appreciate some free fuel.
Gift cards for entry fees: another big expense on a race weekend are the entry fees. A gift voucher or credit for entry fees would be a fantastic way to help a driver pursue their passion.
Racing gloves: provide a lot of input and feel to the driver but they wear out over time. Look for gloves with external seams and the correct size for their hand. You can probably sneak into their gear bag and see what size and brand they are already running.
Nomex underwear: long johns and a long sleeve top can provide extra fire protection. It is often hot and sweaty in a racecar so having a spare set of underwear for the next day will be greatly appreciated by your racing loved one.
A Tinted Visor: Visors get scratched and chipped in open cockpit cars such as Spec Racer Ford or the Formula classes. A new tinted visor with clearer vision will be a welcome start to next season.
Gifts Under $500
New racing harnesses: Harnesses expire with time, you want to get FIA 5 year rated belts. Look for the type they already have in the car or get some more compatible with a head and neck device such as the Schroth Profi II Hans.
AIM Solo: The versatile AIM Solo is a great data logger that can provide lap times, acceleration and even ingest data from the car. It is a perfect entry point data system that can be used on any car to provide feedback and assist a driver in improving their lap times.
New race shoes: like any shoes they wear out over time. A fresh set of fire boots is a great buy.
An action camera: such as a Garmin VIRB or GoPro can be a great addition for any racer. They mount onto a roll bar and record all the action. The driver can later watch the in car videos to do some self coaching and determine areas for improvement. My new videos are shot on a Garmin VIRB Ultra 30.
Test day entry fees: some more seat time will be greatly appreciated by any racer. Often you can organize a gift certificate with a local track or test day group. You might already know where and who they run with to give you a head start.
Head Support System: If they race a Spec Racer Ford you could get the new Butler Built Head Support System. I installed it 1 year ago and love it. They are also a great partner of ours and one of the best in safe seating solutions.
Vinyl Cutter: One great gift I got last year was a vinyl cutter. It is fantastic! I can use it to quickly make custom vinyl graphics for my car, helmet, toolbox and other race related gear. There are lots of home desktop options for vinyl cutters. In the long run they actually will save you money as you no longer have to spend $$$ on custom vinyl that might not fit or look right once installed. With you own machine you can make adjustments quickly and turn around new vinyl as needed.
Gifts Over $500
A new helmet: rated to the Snell SA2015 would be a fantastic gift for a racer. I use Bell Helmets. A helmet is a very personal item, you might want to get some input from them to find out the brand and size that fits them best.
A head and neck restraint device: is an excellent safety item that track day enthusiast and racers will find very useful. There are many versions on the market that each have some unique and cool features.
A new race suit: a brand new race suit is a fantastic piece of safety gear that will look great. You want to get one that meets the rules and also fits the driver well. You might need a little help from the racer here, but it will be an amazing gift. We love the quality and feel of FreeM USA gear. You can even have the gear custom embroidered for that unique touch.