I dug up this post from 2014 because it’s time to cross that bridge…
I first read this article in 2014 and it has stuck with me ever since.
We recently heard of a very real story of a young girl racing in the Midwest that ended in near tragedy. She was involved in a wreck that resulted in a fire. She was wearing a single-layer firesuit, which only gives 3 seconds of protection before second degree burns occur on the body. Underneath the firesuit she was wearing a regular bra. The heat from the fire was intense enough to radiate through the suit and melt the nylon and polyester in her bra, which subsequently fused to her skin and scarred her for life.
While this may look funny, it’s no laughing matter. Bras are highly flammable and should never be worn in a racing environment. It took just 4 seconds from the introduction of flame for the lace to burn and the padding to begin to melt. I did not even have time to pull the torch away.
At this juncture, we are well past the point of severe physical damage less than 10 seconds from flame introduction. The point here is that little drip of fire you see falling from the bra is actually molten foam, nylon, and polyester that would be melting to somebody’s skin.
Here’s where those drips of molten bra ended up in our burn tray. You can see them all over the remainder of the jeans and the tray. Now imagine that on your skin.
In the past week, some of my closest friends and I have gone from making jokes about competing in a motorsports challenge to making actual plans for a challenge in which we will have to compete in an automotive triathlon of sorts, including 1/4 mile drag racing.
I fell in love with High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) at Virginia International Raceway in 2016, as pictured above.
For the HPDE pictured above, the dress code specifically required “non-synthetic fabric clothing (i.e. cotton), including long trousers, socks and a long-sleeved shirt.” I pulled together a safe cotton outfit consisting of a long-sleeved shirt, jeans, socks and shoes.
In order to get my hands on a 95% cotton bra without leaving town, I had to buy a pack of Fruit of the Loom Big Girls’ Cotton Spaghetti Strap Sports Bras. I don’t know what size 34 refers to but I fit a size 34. Bust measurement seems the most plausible as my standing bust measurement is 33″ at this time. There was definitely a degree of quad-boobing going on but I did what I had to do. Our paddock space was actually right next to a racing safety equipment supplier so I asked him whether he had any racing bras that would fit me. He did not so I’m still in hot pursuit. Let’s check out some SFI 3.3 approved options for fire-resistant racing bras!
The black bra pictured above is the Simpson Race Products Ladies Sports Bra, made from “fire retardant CarbonX® soft knit.” MSRP is $79.95 USD.
Like I said in 2014, “The extra small has a 34-35 bust and a 28-29 underbust, which the size guide says fits 32A/32B, but I am
sort of questioning that because of the difference between 28-29 and 34-35.” I wouldn’t mind trying the X-Small on one day as it probably wouldn’t be too difficult to alter it to be an ideal fit.
The tan bra pictured above is the PXP Racewear Race Bra, available in black and tan, made from “a 50% Kermel® 50% Lenzing® Blend.” MSRP is $74.99 USD.
Since this size chart didn’t display measurements in inches, I submitted an inquiry on the PXP Racewear website and was pleasantly surprised when I heard back 19 minutes later. Terri at PXP Racewear said, “I would say you are a small but I don’t think there will be enough cup coverage.” I can appreciate her honesty. She had another question for me, so I may have an update for you in the future.
The black bra pictured above is the Lady Eagle Safetywear CarbonX Pro-Tek Sports Bra, made from “breathable soft knit CarbonX.” MSRP is $79.99 USD.
This size chart is pretty similar to the Simpson Race Products size chart with one additional size option. I wouldn’t mind trying the X-Small on one day as it probably wouldn’t be too difficult to alter it to be an ideal fit.
Since the Simpson Race Products and Lady Eagle Safetywear size charts are quite similar, I figured that I would run those measurements through my favorite Bra Size Calculator. As you can see above, 34-35 bust and 28-29 underbust come out to an estimated bra size of 30E (UK). As a 26FF who usually wears 28F out of convenience, 30E is certainly one of my sister sizes! I will definitely keep this in mind for the road ahead.
It’s time for me to shift gears, pull into the proverbial paddock and focus on something else this evening. I hope that you enjoyed this more personal view into my life and interests! See you next time!
2018 Update: Nowadays, I am a 26G who usually wears 28FF bras out of convenience. I have the PXP Racewear Race Bra in black in a size small. It is a touch loose in the band but I was realistically expecting that. I will be wearing it for track events this year and I will post a review here. I have to go do car stuff so y’all take care now.