September 1, 2016
It is often said that motorsport is becoming too corporate, too homologized. True or not, there is at least one place that the driver (typically) keeps full control: the helmet. Some drivers take full advantage of this platform showcasing their personality with vivid designs that put their psyche out there for all to see. Others subtly use their carbon fiber "buckets" to represent their corporate partners, their family roots or their own artistic bent. Some just hand it over and let someone else use it as a glossy canvas.
Porsche 911 RSR.
Patrick Pilet, France, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
"I designed my helmet myself when I was 11 years old. I like the blue and yellow. I drew like a thousand different sketches to find my design. I would find it really difficult to change the design now. I make more evolutionally type than big changes. I have raced with this design since 1994."
Nick Tandy, Great Britain, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
"My helmet is less about the design and more about the colors. The design, that changes frequently. But, I've always run the colors of the race team that I raced with and now run in the UK, JTR."
Earl Bamber, New Zealand, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
"Yellow is for my sponsor LKM, who has supported me from Porsche Carrera Cup times. On the side, I have the sliver fern, which is very symbolic for Kiwis. On the top, I have the Southern Cross stars and the Union Jack to represent our nation's flag. On the back, I have a cartoon drawing of my girlfriend and myself. I have had this helmet from the start of the season. Its' been good with a lots of podiums to start the year."
Frédéric Makowiecki, France, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
"My helmet design came from when I was 14 years old. At that moment, I didn't really have a design and a friend of mine gave my helmet to a painter in the south of France. He did this design for me. It means a lot to me, because it was the beginning of my career when myself and my parents worked very hard. So, I try to keep the design this way. Every year I get a small update. The colors represent, a little bit, the French flag. But the helmet colors can change, it's the design that I want to keep."
Michael Christensen, Denmark, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
"I drew it myself looking at other helmets. I found something that I liked. I had a lot of time drawing helmets in the winter when I was young. I took a bit of what I liked from each helmet. I've had this design since 2006. It shows who you are and hopefully people will recognize you."
Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Jörg Bergmeister, Germany, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"I have had this design for most of my career. The colors, red, black and yellow, represent Germany. The flames came when I met Troy Lee and he started painting my helmets."
Patrick Long, Manhattan Beach, California, Pirelli World Challenge, No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"I have always had bright green flames and a shamrock on my helmet. They're sort of 'family heirlooms' if you will. My uncle drew my helmet up for me as a kid. He's into hotrods and he grew up with my father watching oval track racing around Los Angeles, and a lot of the drivers had a scalloped or flame designs. Through the years of traveling in Europe, flames and green and shamrocks have come in and out of fashion, but I think it goes back to your identity. You stick with one thing and people will recognize that."
Mario Farnbacher, Germany, No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"I chose a simple design with nice colors that go together."
Ian James, Great Britain, No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"Mine is a combination of the Union Jack, representing the country of my birth, and the Stars and Stripes, representing my country of residence."
Patrick Lindsey, Santa Barbara, California, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"The first design I ever had was a helmet ripping through a checkered flag. My current helmet is more inline with Park Place colors but I have kept the same basic design through my career. I always wear a chrome visor with my helmets too."
Cooper MacNeil, Hinsdale, Illinois, Pirelli World Challenge, No. 79 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"I like the carbon fiber black look that the helmet arrived with. I have just added some stickers to it."
Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Marc Miller, Holland, Michigan, No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"My first helmet for karting was a rather inexpensive motorcycle type helmet. My dad and I felt that our goal was to eventually become the 'target' for every other racer so he made a bulls-eye/target on the top by hand out of vinyl. This has carried over into every single helmet I have owned."
Danny Burkett, Canada, No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"My helmet design has been relatively the similar since my karting days. For many years I used a pre-painted motorcycle helmet because it was simply all that was available in the motorsports mecca of Winnipeg, Canada. Once I started travelling internationally to compete it became obvious I was behind the times! I started playing around with designing my own custom look, and really fell in love with how vibrant neon green contrasted to a darker blue. Over the years I've added to the design, such as the half Canadian Maple Leaf, to highlight my Canadian heritage. There aren't many Canadians competing at a high level in motorsport, so I felt the need to show the world we're just as quick as anyone else! Although I'm sure more changes will come, the bright green stripe and blue underlay are my own personal style, and they are here to stay on all of my future helmets."
Till Bechtolsheimer, New York, New York, No. 35 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"My entire racing career up to this point has been in classic and historic racing. It always felt a little odd to me to see competitors with contemporary designs racing cars from other eras. So I decided that I needed to keep my helmet blank in keeping with the men who originally raced cars like my Allard J2 or my MGB."
Tyler McQuarrie, Danville, California, No. 35 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"My helmet design dates back to 1996. It was mainly based on the yellow and red Scottish 'Lion Rampant'. My family is from Scotland and I wanted something that signified my heritage. One of my favorite colors is blue and I wanted to integrate a blue stripe into the design and it has basically stayed with me since the mid-nineties. I think I have ten helmets painted like that and my wife even has it tattooed on her back! I'll be keeping it forever and so will my wife."
Ted Giovonis. Highland, Maryland, No. 64 TeamTGM, Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"After 20 years of racing at the club and professional level, I was one of the only drivers still racing with a 'cue ball' helmet. I knew I wanted to use similar colors to my team's colors of neon orange and blue. I decided to give the designer free reign. The designer sent us his concept, and with a few tweaks from my daughter Kristina who does a lot of our team's design work, I had a design I liked. Since then, I have kept that same design and plan to stick with it for future helmets."
Porsche Cars North America
Media Relations Manager, Motorsports and Brand Heritage
Motorsports Public Relations
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