R3 + tall driver + helmet

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R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:51 pm

I’m taking my R3 out on its debut track session to Brands this week. I tried on my old motorbike helmet earlier that I was planning on wearing and it won’t fit in the car. The roof is pushing my head over onto my shoulder and the problem seems to be worse if I move back or recline the seat a little.

I did a bit of a search and understand that you can fiddle with the mounting brackets to lower S1 seats, but it doesn’t look like this is an option with the R3 Recaros. Any other tricks worth trying? Incidentally, I’m 6’3”.

I’m very open to going out and buying another helmet (assuming I can get it in a store ahead of Wednesday). Preferably, I’d go for an open-faced helmet – I’m hoping J&S in New Malden stocks some car helmets in addition to their motorcycle accessories.

I assumed all helmets were of a similar thickness due to safety regulations, but if anyone knows of a slimline model that has a better chance of fitting in an RX-8 (assuming it fits on my head!)... I’m all ears [-o<.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by goodeggbob » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:54 pm

Just as a backup,you could hire a helmet on the day if all else fails.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:56 pm

goodeggbob wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:54 pm
Just as a backup,you could hire a helmet on the day if all else fails.
Sadly, Coronavirus has put a temporary stop to all helmet rentals at Brands #-o. Given the choice, I wouldn’t wear one. But, it appears to be a mandatory at this track :(.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by warpc0il » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:02 pm

Helmets are mandatory at all track days.

I'm surprised that reclining the seat doesn't help, though it may take more than "a little" and I assume you've checked that the seat's as low as it should go - just asking as I know of one owner who had a £1 coin jammed in the mechanism :roll:
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by SeanP » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:22 pm

I'm 6ft and find I have to recline the seat a little wearing a helmet on-track. Not 100% what I like, but works OK :)
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by SeanP » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:23 pm

warpc0il wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:02 pm
Helmets are mandatory at all track days.

I'm surprised that reclining the seat doesn't help, though it may take more than "a little" and I assume you've checked that the seat's as low as it should go - just asking as I know of one owner who had a £1 coin jammed in the mechanism :roll:
There's no height adjustment on the R3 seats, Dave. :(
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:30 pm

:whathesaid:

I’ll have another play around with the seat adjusters, but it felt like I would have to have the seat very reclined to make it work, which would comprise my driving position, vision and control.

Wasn’t aware that helmets are a mandatory at all tracks. A bit of a silly rule if, by wearing one, you’re having to slump down or jam your helmeted head against part of the car. I would have thought that that would be a greater injury risk (e.g. a broken neck) should an accident happen. I know the yanks have things like ‘the broom test’ to avoid a driver’s head poking above a convertible windscreen and roll bar.

I‘m aware that motorbike helmets are designed to protect from different kinds of impact. But, do you think I can expect to find an open face helmet that gives me any more room, or are they all a standard thickness?
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R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by GreySilver Beast » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:34 pm

Out of interest have you done trackdays before :?:
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by warpc0il » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:42 pm

Cheap helmets often have the same size shell and just more padding for smaller heads, which doesn't matter much on a bike but significantly reduces headroom in a car.

V2 Sport do a good open-face helmet and recently released the Mk3 version
http://www.v2sport.com/v2-tour.html#!/V ... y=22435618

They're not showing anything in the clearance section of their website but it might be worth giving them a ring, in case they've still got some Mk2s around. I got one for Pauline, less than £50, and very good quality.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:44 pm

GreySilver Beast wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:34 pm
Out of interest have you done trackdays before :?:
A couple many years ago, but not in my own car - I took a single a formula something seater out and a Caterham, along with a Ford Mondeo :lol:.

I have been doing some reading through of the FAQ stickies in preparation. I’m also, starting with a shorter, more novice friendly ‘no race car’ afternoon session.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:49 pm

warpc0il wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:42 pm
Cheap helmets often have the same size shell and just more padding for smaller heads, which doesn't matter much on a bike but significantly reduces headroom in a car.

V2 Sport do a good open-face helmet and recently released the Mk3 version
http://www.v2sport.com/v2-tour.html#!/V ... y=22435618

They're not showing anything in the clearance section of their website but it might be worth giving them a ring, in case they've still got some Mk2s around. I got one for Pauline, less than £50, and very good quality.
Thanks for the recommendation Dave :thumleft:. I’ll look out for that make/model in the shop.

I’m going to be a little limited to what I can find in a physical shop ahead of Weds. In and around the Surrey area, I think J&S motorcycle accessories is the biggest for this sort of thing and I’m not aware of any car motorsport-specific shops. I guess I could try Halfords ;).

I’m also starting to wonder whether I’ll even be able to try different helmets on with Covid still doing the rounds!
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by warpc0il » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:02 am

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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:08 am

Never even heard of these guys! Nice one, thanks Dave :thumleft:. Tatsfield and Chichester are both doable. I’ll check them out!
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by V8 Power » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:50 am

I’ve just had a look at the various helmets we have (inc an open face) and to be honest I don’t think there is a lot of difference in the overall thickness above your head in any over them, certainly not more than a few millimetres anyway. The open face is marginally the thickest but that cold just be this particular make, OMP.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:35 am

V8 Power wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:50 am
I’ve just had a look at the various helmets we have (inc an open face) and to be honest I don’t think there is a lot of difference in the overall thickness above your head in any over them, certainly not more than a few millimetres anyway. The open face is marginally the thickest but that cold just be this particular make, OMP.
Thanks for having a look at what you've got - very much appreciated :thumleft:. Interesting to hear that the open face helmet is marginally thicker too.

I'm going to get to a shop to try some helmets on. With the difference in fits between helmet brands, I'm wondering whether I might be able to squeeze my melon into a medium (from my current large) and save a few mm there. I managed to do this with my latest ski helmet - it's a shame I can't wear that for a track day :lol:.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by New Duke » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:05 pm

R1DSO wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:35 am
ski helmet - it's a shame I can't wear that for a track day :lol:.
They might not notice TBH. I wouldn't recommend it though. Injuries and deaths do happen on trackdays. I like helmets with a flip down sunvisor.. Especially when sun levels vary mid lap. This is my current one:
https://gsmperformance.co.uk/product/sp ... on-helmet/

Even with a helmet that fits (crossing fingers for you) inside you'll still need to recline your seat more that you normally would. Because the rear of the helmet.


Assuming that you're going on Wednesday it's going to be hot. So a few hot weather considerations (in addition to the usual advice):

- Keep an eye on your engine temp gauge and back off the revs if the needle creeps up, especially if you keep it between 8-10k rpm like I do.

- Expect your brakes to get hot and keep an eye on those tyre pressures too. Dropping them to 26 psi at the start might be wise.

- Open your front windows 25% and open the rear windows. The air con shuts off at 100% throttle so just turn it off and expect to melt, especially as you car is black. It's a good idea to freeze a few water bottles the night before and take them with you. Stay cool and hydrated when you can. So wear loose, comfortable clothes and not jeans.

- My engine consumes more oil on hot track days than cold ones. Best to check it each session.

- Don't worry if it struggles to start after hot laps or stalls after starting. Just start it up again and add light throttle.

- General thought: If you have less than a quarter tank of fuel don't be surprised if it goes into limp mode from fuel starvation. Also don't expect the fuel gauge to read accurately if you're low on fuel and sloshing it around corners! :race: :D
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by goodeggbob » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:06 pm

I have a road bike helmet and an mx one,the mx one is definetly less high the other but i wouldn't know if that would be acceptable for track days,maybe worth an ask.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:12 pm

On Dave’s recommendation (thanks again Dave!), I headed over to Helmet City in Tatsfield. They were nice enough to let me take several helmets out to my RX-8 in the car park and try them for size.

The shop had actually had someone in the previous week with the same problem of not fitting in their car for a track day. On their recommendation, I ended up with what they said was the most compact helmet they sold – a Bell Scout Air for £135. Below is a pic of it in comparison to my old motorbike helmet:
1A076548-AE37-4D61-A88C-EC281DD913D4.jpeg


The Bell Helmet is probably a similar size to my ski helmet. And, being open faced, I found that I could squeeze my melon into a medium (down from a large) by wearing it slightly back, almost like an Italian scooter driver trying to protect his hair do :lol:.

In all honesty, it’s not that bad and is still a good fit, providing a decent level of protection. And, whilst it hits the ceiling and side a bit (even when moving the seat), it’s loads better.

imo, my old full-faced motorbike helmet wasn’t really usable. I’d have been more worried about breaking my neck in an impact given it was pushing my head so far over. I wouldn’t have felt in good control driving with my head sideways on my shoulder, or the seat reclined half way to lying down :lol:.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by V8 Power » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:15 pm

That does look nice and slim.
Glad you found a solution
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:32 pm

New Duke wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:05 pm
ssuming that you're going on Wednesday it's going to be hot. So a few hot weather considerations (in addition to the usual advice):

- Keep an eye on your engine temp gauge and back off the revs if the needle creeps up, especially if you keep it between 8-10k rpm like I do.

- Expect your brakes to get hot and keep an eye on those tyre pressures too. Dropping them to 26 psi at the start might be wise.

- Open your front windows 25% and open the rear windows. The air con shuts off at 100% throttle so just turn it off and expect to melt, especially as you car is black. It's a good idea to freeze a few water bottles the night before and take them with you. Stay cool and hydrated when you can. So wear loose, comfortable clothes and not jeans.

- My engine consumes more oil on hot track days than cold ones. Best to check it each session.

- Don't worry if it struggles to start after hot laps or stalls after starting. Just start it up again and add light throttle.

- General thought: If you have less than a quarter tank of fuel don't be surprised if it goes into limp mode from fuel starvation. Also don't expect the fuel gauge to read accurately if you're low on fuel and sloshing it around corners! :race: :D
All of this is super helpful, thank you :thumleft:. Whilst I’m happy that rain isn’t forecasted, 30 degrees is the opposite end of the spectrum! The temperatures should be a good stress test for my new Racing Beat race pipe/high flow cat.

These are the OBD Dashcommand gauges I’ll be monitoring. My plan was to do a cool down lap and come in if/when my coolant got to 115 degrees or if the cat temp hit 1050 degrees. Open to hearing other opinions on these figures and any further suggestions on what’s worth keeping an eye on:
2436737C-05D2-4276-BA23-3F281708BB5E.png


I’m also acutely aware that I’m not running track pads. I bought the car with new generic rear pads installed and a decent amount of front pad life left. The discs are a bit lipped, so I didn’t want to put track pads on these, or bin the pads already on there. The plan is to run through the pads installed, then swap out all discs and pads together.

However, from reading the track day guide stickies, although all the car’s fluids are fresh and bled, it sounds like my pads may limit my time on track before brake fade. My finger in the air is perhaps 10 laps, before a cool down and pit stop, but interested if anyone has a POV on this. It’s a 2.5 hour open pit afternoon session from 5:30, so the car won’t be getting a full day of heat.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by R1DSO » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:34 pm

V8 Power wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:15 pm
That does look nice and slim.
Glad you found a solution
Indeed! Thanks again for all the help everyone :).
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by warpc0il » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:38 pm

Same tracks insisted on open-faced helmets for closed cockpit cars, as they believed that full faced (especially motorcycle) helmets cut off the view of the instrument panel, such that drivers are more likely to "not see" warning lights etc.

I'm not sure if this was real or just a perception, and it must depend on too many factors to be a generalisation.

At one track where this rule was in place, I asked one of the instructors and he gave me the official line, as above, but went on to say that full faced helmets disconnected the driver from the sensations - leaving them watching as if in a video game - while open faced left them more connected. This seemed to make a bit more sense.

Good to see you're sorted anyway 👍
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by ChrisHolmes » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:30 pm

When you park up after a track session leave the car in gear. Do not apply the handbrake as you are clamping to very hot discs.
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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by New Duke » Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:11 am

R1DSO wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:32 pm
I’m also acutely aware that I’m not running track pads. I bought the car with new generic rear pads installed and a decent amount of front pad life left. The discs are a bit lipped, so I didn’t want to put track pads on these, or bin the pads already on there. The plan is to run through the pads installed, then swap out all discs and pads together.

However, from reading the track day guide stickies, although all the car’s fluids are fresh and bled, it sounds like my pads may limit my time on track before brake fade. My finger in the air is perhaps 10 laps, before a cool down and pit stop, but interested if anyone has a POV on this. It’s a 2.5 hour open pit afternoon session from 5:30, so the car won’t be getting a full day of heat.
I'm sure you know this but there's also no need to stay out until the pads fade. If you come in after 5 laps for example, everything will be that much cooler and you can get back on track sooner.

Good thing that it's the evening session. Still looks an impressive 26 C at 6pm :shock: It's the heat soak from the engine and transmission that makes it scorching. That warmth from the cup holders turns hot and the entire dashboard radiates heat from the engine bay. I lost a stereo headunit to engine heat soak on a 30 C track day :(

I'll be in cooling off in the pool in our garden wishing you well :D

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Re: R3 + tall driver + helmet

Post by warpc0il » Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:28 am

I strongly recommend leaving the DSC enabled but be aware, if you're over-heavy with the throttle and lean on the DSC a lot to keep you out of trouble, then this also uses the brakes (on individual wheels) to keep the car in line.

Having the DSC light blink occasionally is a good indication that you're driving on (rather than over) the limit.
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R1DSO (Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:08 pm)
Dave
The Spin Doctor ™
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