Why am I wearing Will Power’s helmet?

IndyCar driver, Will Power, helmet

I have such a cool story to share with you from my first F3 race at Barber Motorsport this past weekend. 

While getting through tech on Thursday evening I had a problem with my helmet. It turns out the FIA very recently changed rules to now require helmets to have an 8860 rating (versus the 8859 rating my very new helmet had).  The tech folks’ hands were tied and I’d not be able to practice the next day, or even worse race, without it. 

Understandably upset, the entire team went on a search of a legal helmet we could purchase.  It turns out we weren’t the only ones caught off guard by this, as the paddock was sold out. 

With most shops in Atlanta or Birmingham already closed we finally resorted to finding, and buying, a compliant helmet in Sonoma California and getting it overnighted for 8:30am – that is as expensive as it sounds!

But, this still didn’t address my 8:00am practice session the next morning and as it was my first weekend at Barber, I needed all the time I could get. 

Still stressing out about where we could find a helmet, my performance coach, Jacques, noticed Will Power riding by on a scooter and waved him down. 

So, as it turns out, Jacques knows Will and we asked him nicely if he had a spare helmet that I could use for the next day. He was prepared to help and spent the next couple of hours making phone calls and tearing through his trailer to try and find this extra helmet that he was sure he had. 

He later sent a text saying he found it and I could use it. Awesome, except he said the Indy guys couldn’t get into their trailers the next morning until 8:30 (an Indy rule I guess), and my session was at 8:00. After explaining this, he went further out of his way and went back to his trailer to put the helmet somewhere I could go and collect it by myself. He then texted a detailed video of where he left it and how I could retrieve it. 

I found the helmet the next morning and made the morning session, which was critical for me. 

I can’t thank Will enough for putting so much effort in for a guy he doesn’t know, and from whom he had nothing to gain. It was a wild ordeal and made my personal opinion of him skyrocket. 

It just goes to show how closely knit the racing community is. Who knows, maybe someone helped him out once too.