Race Car Drivers Keep Cool
By Betty Stephens
Race car drivers face cockpit temperatures that can reach 140 degrees. They must be concerned with dehydration and heat exhaustion. Some drives complain of weight loss during a race of over four pounds. Heat exhaustion is an issue in racing it can cause death.
Safety and Health Issues
Safety and health problems related to heat stress, such as heat fatigue, cramps, exhaustion, stroke, are well known. The body must balance the heat produced within the body with the environment in order to maintain heat balance. If the environment is too warm the body must dissipate this heat. Clothing can direct affect heat balance, since it can increase work load and reduce convective, evaporative and radiant heat losses.
Race Car Divers Suits
Drivers use to beat the heat with cool-suit vests that circulated cold water inside drivers’ fireproof suit. A floor-mounted box was used to cool and circulated the water. But then cool suits were replaced by $6,000 air conditioning units blowing cold air into a tube in a driver’s helmet. The tube only keeps the air that the driver is breathing cool.
There is a system called a Kool3 Kube. This cooling system is a Peltier junction based cooling system designed to cool the torso of individuals in overly hot conditions such as automobile racing. The Kool3 Kube cooling system consists of the Kube cooling system, and a vest the driver wears to cool their torso. There is a great diagram on their Web site that is used in a race car. (Link to their Web site.)
Other Cooling Devices for Race Car Drivers
There are race car seats, helmets, vests, roll bars mounted on the floor, hats and neck wraps that cool drivers. If you have been looking for cooling apparel, body cooling devices or ways to fight stress, you can find what you need on the Web. Look around the Web site and find cooling accessories that fits your needs.