Taking a firm grip of the wheel is important at the best of times and on track where precision is key, even more so. Donning a pair of race gloves won’t endow you with any extra skill or dexterity, but there are benefits to investing in a good pair.
Racing against others or the clock is an intense activity that requires your undivided attention lap after lap. Such concentration and expenditure of effort can induce perspiring palms, reducing friction between hand and wheel, ultimately impairing your ability to grip it.
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Driving a harder-edged track car like a Caterham with no power assistance and a steering wheel devoid of a squishy, forgiving, foam layer may involve an uncomfortable, white knuckle grip on the wheel. A pair of gloves can cushion the reacting impact coming through the helm.
Navigating the wheel over the course of a long race, dancing round it with quick, sharp movements will take its toll on your hands. The intermediate layer prevents blistering and also soaks up tremors that rumble round the rim that can have a fatiguing effect.
Also, if you are one of those commendably committed trackday goers who pedal round an open-top car in all conditions, a pair of gloves keep your all-important hands warm and protected.
We’ve delved into the racing glove market place and picked out three options.
Recommended track driving gloves
Turn One FIA 8856-2000 Homologated Race Gloves
The Turn One gloves offer lightweight comfort for amateur drivers. A velcro strap round the the wrist secures the glove well. Suede is used on the palm to maximise your grip of the steering wheel to prevent any slip.
Puma Avanti Race Gloves
The Avanti gloves feature external seams to save any rubbing of your fingers on the inside. The fingers are pre-curved to allow you to wrap your hand around the steering wheel. The fingers and palm have strips of leather to enable a firm grip of the wheel, too.
Sparco Tide RG-9 Race Gloves
The RG-9 gloves are constructed using Sparco-exclusive HTX material. The unique fabric is hardwearing and facilitates a strong grip while absorbing the impact of gripping the wheel. The pair also benefit from external stitching that allows for an easier fit.