McLaren, Sparco offer lightest-weight racing suit

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Racer Bruno Senna models one of the new SP16+ racing suits | McLaren photos

Why work like crazy to make your cars as light as possible and then head to a track day wearing a bulky racing safety suit? That’s what McLaren Automotive and Sparco wanted to overcome with the development of the Sparco McLaren SP16+. 

Even in size 52, the suit weighs just 1.3 pounds, yet is FIA certified.

Technically, the suit isn’t new. McLaren’s Formula One racers have been wearing it since 2016. However, the suit now can be ordered by McLaren Automotive customers.

“Weight optimization has defined McLaren cars for more than half a century,” the supercar manufacturer said in its announcement. “Equally, for the past 40 years, it has been the guiding passion for Sparco – a company synonymous with motorsport safety and style. In a unique partnership, these two pioneering companies have joined forces to combine their innovative, weight-saving technologies to create the lightest race suit in the world.”

McLaren racing shoes are $296 a pair

The suits are hand-made to order in Italy. Each suit requires 12 hours of labor, the companies added.

“McLaren Automotive is known for its continuous pursuit of light weighting technology.,” the announcement continued. “Following that thread, a must-have item for McLaren fans, racers and track-day drivers alike, the Sparco McLaren SP16+ is a race suit designed like no other. With the whole suit weighing at least 10 per cent less than any other, the Sparco McLaren SP16+ is the lightest race suit yet approved by the FIA.”

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Suits can be customized with color and such options as a phone pocket.

Each suit is priced at £2,344 ($2,995), plus tax, without bespoke options.

Also available are a McLaren Bell HP7 helmet, McLaren RB-8 racing shoes, RG-7 racing gloves and other McLaren Track Wear items.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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