Finally got around to finish my mate Stian Sørlie’s website, and here’s my reward. A brand new Arai GP5K from his shop. Ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted one of these. After all, it is more or less the one most F1 drivers use.
I remember watching the older go-kart racers using GP2′s back in the early 90′s. They where so cool! Not that I didn’t have cool helmets myself. Back then I had a Simpson Bandit 5 and later a custom painted Simpson Super Shark. They where both badass, and I still love them to death. Still, never having owned an Arai has kind of bugged me – until today…
As with most wannabe/has-been racers, my personal helmet is the only thing that sets me apart from most trackday racers these days. It’s a statement that I used to be a “real” racingdriver. A reminder that I used to be serious about the sport and had ambitions. Allthough my long gone dreams of becoming a F1 driver never came through, at least I have my own helmet design!
Back in 1996 I got the Super Shark painted with my own design for the first time, and boy did it look awsome! I made the design myself, with pointers from automotive photographer Erik Nordlien. The helmet was painted by a guy in the UK who apparantly used to paint Johnny Herbert’s helmets. And he did a very good job with it, choosing nice colors and effects for the time.
10 years later my trusted old Super Shark had been through a lot, and paint had chipped several places. As I couldn’t afford a proper new helmet at the time, I decided to repaint it. Together with helmet painting guru Stian Paulsen, I did some major changes to the design, incorporating a lot of silver. The design turned out pretty cool, but the distinct features of my old design got a bit lost in the process. I just seem to prefer the old school helmet style with simple colors and design.
So my new Arai will get an updated version of my original design. Black and grey will replace some of the blue colors, and the red will become more orange. Just to make it stand out a bit more. But this time I will make sure that the white areas are kept clean, so that the distinct diagonal line at the front and the “F” on the side stay as visible as possible. It will be a high contrast, classic design and one that is truly my own.