The Weekend Warrior…An Incredible Assett to Racing.

56-NorthamBy David G. Firestone

We’ve talked a lot about many subjects, but let’s get back to…DRIVER SUITS! Yes I know, it’s been a while, but we’re getting back to business! Let’s get started. A lot of race car drivers aren’t full time professionals, but are weekend warriors who race for the love of the sport. Some are be involved in the auto industry, some aren’t. For some, they left the sport and started a business. Nort Northam is one of those people. He is a consignment auto dealer who is also a racer.

He likes to race in endurance racing, and he raced in the 1988 Sunbank 24 at Daytona, now the Rolex 24. Racing a Porsche 911 with Karl Durkheimer, Monte Shelton, and Jim Torres, he started 67th on the grid and finished 33rd. During that race, and for a few races after that, he wore this single-layer driver suit. The suit shows heavy use, with stains and scuff marks.56-Northam 56-Northamb

The suit was made by PBI and has a collar behind the Velcro-shut collar.56-Northam-collar The front has had a patch removed on the left side, and has a SUNBANK 24 AT DAYTONA patch and has NORT NORTHAM embroidered in chain-stitched lettering.56-Northam-rchest 56-Northam-lchestThe belt us unadorned,56-Northam-beltthe legs have a lot of wear on them.56-Northam-legsThe shoulders have safety straps on them. They are cloth strips designed to help pull an incapacitated driver from a damaged race car. They are black so they are visible on the yellow background. It doesn’t look elegant, but it does the job.56-Northam-rshoulder 56-Northam-lshoulder

The sleeves have the same stripe design as the front, and have white cuffs.56-Northam-rsleeve1 56-Northam-rsleeve2 56-Northam-lsleeve1 56-Northam-lsleeve2

The back design has some white material designed to give some slack to the suit. As the suit doesn’t have arm gussets so this is the next best thing.56-Northamb 56-Northam-neck 56-Northam-btorso

The weekend warriors are an essential part to the motorsports industry. While many racing part companies work with the top teams, they also sell to the weekend warriors who race at local tracks, and the occasional regional event. Next week, we will discuss the driver suit as fashion.

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