Being able to go behind the scenes and see how things are made has to be one of the coolest things. To be able to see the work that goes into the product makes you appreciate everything a manufacturer does.
For Impact Racing they make sure that we stay safe whether it be with a fire suit, helmet, harness or seats. Seeing what goes into a product that hundreds of people put their life on the line for is something else.
Located just a few miles from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Impact Racing manufactures their parts. It is easy for us to open a box when it arrives, but what goes into it is what we wanted to check out.
To start we got to see how Impact Racing makes all of its race suits. They have a CNC machine that allows them to cut all of the patterns. All the stitching and digitizing of the logos is done in-house. Each logo is gone through and cleaned up for the cleanest, lightest look.
One of the biggest questions Impact receives on its fire suits is the difference between their suit and a $100 suit. “Impact suits are inherently fire retardant and manufactured from aramid fibers,” said Kelli Willmore of Impact Racing. “The $100 suits are treated cotton and the fire retardancy washes out.”
All of the suits that leave Impact’s facility go through a quality control. The order measurements are checked with the actual suit. The order sheets are also saved for later use in case something needs to be reordered or changed.
Next down the line was seeing how all of Impact’s race seats are made. All the seats are assembled in-house along with the frames which are bent and welded in a separate building. The foam is reinforced where harness holes will go to make sure that the foam stays intact.
Everyone wants to save money when building their car, but one place that you do not want to cut corners is for your safety, especially your helmet. Whether it be a fiberglass, carbon fiber, or a combination of both, each layer is laid by hand.
Once the helmet has cured it is removed from the mold and sent to be cleaned up. The eye holes are cleaned out and the helmet is smoothed out. Once they are cleaned up they are sent to paint, and then final assembly.
In addition to making all of their helmets in-house, Impact Racing has the ability to replicate SNELL testing. “We replicate the Snell testing in-house for continuous improvement and research and development,” Willmore explained. “Impact also performs random sampling testing to quantify our manufacturing.”
If you are looking for something different, Impact can do that too. “Suits, belts, nets, and seats can all be customized,” Willmore continued. “Helmets can have options added and frontal head restraint devices are adjustable and customized to the seat layback.”
A tour like this really makes us appreciate how things we take for granted are made. Next time you strap in or put a helmet on, think about all the design and work that went into keeping you safe.
For more information on Impact Racing and its products be sure to check out their website.