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Discussion Starter #1
Doing a couple track days this spring and summer. How necessary are gauntlet-style driving gloves like those made by Alpinestars? Would I be just as well off wearing well-fitting gloves that weren't specifically made for driving?

Thanks!
 

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Recreational Mechanic
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From a safety perspective? Necessary. Mostly for fire.

From a driving perspective? Optional.

Racequip has decent entry level stuff that's much cheaper than Alpinestars, Sparco, RJ, etc.
 

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Have you done a track day before?
I have a pair of AlpineStar gloves and have been happy with them.
That being said, I did 8 years of track days before I bought them and was perfectly happy/fine.
I like the feel, but it's really about safety.
 

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IMO if you are not worried about fire you are better off not having them, and if it's your first track day I would 100% not wear them. I know there are many others who are very worried about fire though for some reason...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, these will be my first couple times on-track. Not too concerned about fire, but i definitely want to wear gloves, I prefer the extra grip in harder driving.
 

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I have done a few track days without gloves, it was not an issue. I do like the mind set of putting gloves on. If you plan to do more days in the future, invest in racing gloves instead of just gloves.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Cool. Maybe I'll forego the gloves for the first date and see how it goes. I have a motorcycling background and never rode without gloves, so I have that mindset.

Thanks for the advice.
 

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German Reimport
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Have you done a track day before?
I have a pair of AlpineStar gloves and have been happy with them.
That being said, I did 8 years of track days before I bought them and was perfectly happy/fine.
I like the feel, but it's really about safety once you start getting closer to the limits.
I've been on track for nine years before regulations from certain clubs requiring gloves made me buy some.
I'm not saying this was smart, but at the end, I now wear them (Sparco Land Racing Gloves) all the time on track and they are actually pretty comfortable and provide a good
feel for the wheel and the shifter (which was my biggest concern). And for under $100, it isn't a huge investment when you consider to keep going on track at least a few times.

I wore leather driving gloves for my first few track days and they worked fine.
That's exactly what I was doing. Regular thin leather gloves.
I wouldn't recommend anything rubber coated (like gardening gloves) or polyester or anything else that would probably act like a fire accelerator :panic:
But you should be ok either way, racing gloves, leather gloves, or no gloves (unless you do catch fire..., then option 1 or 2 would be recommended)
 

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Since most trackdays just require cotton shirts and not full race suits, are the fire resistant gloves going to help? If the rest of you is on fire, doea it matter if your hands are not?
 

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Nobody plans on having an incident on the track, but s##t happens.
That's why we wear safety gear. I would not think of going onto the track without a helmet, nomex driving suit, nomex underware, sox and balacava, and nomex driving gloves.
If you have an "off", and wad up your car, or puke an engine, you'll be thankful for your safety equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, the full nomex outfit head to toe is probably overkill for a noncompetitive track day. Although, don't get me wrong, I would love to wear that stuff because it looks badass...
 

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It's all about calculating your risks.
A novice on the track probably has a higher risk of getting in trouble.
In my 41 years of racing at all levels, I've had the puked engines, with associated engine fire, and plenty of "off's".
I thank my safety equipment for never being seriously injured, including everything from fire systems, to roll cages, and proper driver gear.
Pay your money or take your chances.
 

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It looks badass but it's not so fun to wear when you're in a car with no AC in August during a 2-hour stint!

To chime in and echo people here though, give a session a try without gloves. I have done several with, but I like gloves when using the Elise for some reason. Mine are Nomex but if you are just doing track days then a cheap single-layer glove from a lower brand (omp, g-force, crow?) will do. I would however recommend giving gloves that have internal and external seams a try...my pair has internal and I am waiting for the day when I can get the stitching on the outside, as I think it improves feel (all the pros have this)
 

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Recreational Mechanic
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I did this past season in a nomex head cover, helmet (of course), gloves and shoes. I have a 3 layer Sparco suit that I wore at the beginning of the season (spring) but as temps went up it was just too hot to wear so I was back to jeans and cotton long sleeve. I have my eye on the Sparco RS-4 Victory suit which is a single layer suit that is equivalent to a 3-layer....but not cheap unfortunately. Once I get that one I would likely wear it every track session. Now that I have 6-points I am using a HANS, actually I got the new Schroth SHR flex which is great b/c it clears any seat nicely without the interference issues that plague the original HANS design.

In the past year I've seen a couple crashes and one fire. That was in DE events so it can happen anywhere. IMO you can never have too much safety equipment, regardless of the level you are at.
 

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In the past year I've seen a couple crashes and one fire. That was in DE events so it can happen anywhere. IMO you can never have too much safety equipment, regardless of the level you are at.
This brings up a good issue, your car and gear are a good part of safety but so is the group you go with. There are some groups that just do not focus on safety and some groups I have been told not to run with. I am not sure if the above crashes and fire are related to less safe groups, but do research who you are on track with.
 

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This brings up a good issue, your car and gear are a good part of safety but so is the group you go with. There are some groups that just do not focus on safety and some groups I have been told not to run with. I am not sure if the above crashes and fire are related to less safe groups, but do research who you are on track with.
Boy that's the truth. I did one event w/ the SCCA group here and it was definitely not managed well from a safety perspective. I run with NASA b/c they are well organized, friendly, and safety oriented for sure.

Of these 3 events one crash was actually at an open track day...this one was an experienced driver making a bad choice to pass an inexperienced driver in a corner and did not end well. The other two were at organized events, one was a mechanical failure where a hub broke on a spec Miata car in a turn and clipped another car and the other was an engine fire I am unsure of the cause. Neither of these really had anything to do with the safety policy of the organizers as they were unpredictable mechanical failures....so like I said anything can happen and erring on the side of safety w/ equipment is a good idea IMO. Even though these events are rare in DE they can still happen and it's best to be prepared, again IMO.
 
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