Under The Lid With Stefan Rzadzinski

For this week’s blog we speak with our driver, Stefan Rzadzinski, about the design of his helmet – from its initial conception in school, to the recognition of his family roots and a tribute to his childhood hero.

“I remember being in high school drawing out my helmet on Microsoft Paint – I probably still have the old file somewhere!”

“It was so special when I got my first helmet. I think I was 16 years old and going into Formula 1600s for the first time and had that moment of realisation ‘I’m a race car driver! I’m a real race car driver!’ – I’ve got that original helmet at home at my parents’ house.”

“I’ve pretty much updated that design that I came up with when I was 15 and stayed with it throughout my career. I always wanted to have my initials in it, and then I generally had some red to represent my Polish background.”

“Canada is my home, but my family is Polish – which is why my last name is so difficult for anyone speaking English to pronounce! I’ve always wanted to reflect both sides of where I came from.”

“I’m now racing with my ‘dark-side’ helmet. This is the first departure from my traditional designs, as I always had blue, red and white helmet with the same design, but over the years I’ve simplified it and refined it.”

“The blue doesn’t appear on my current design, but the story behind me having it is kind of funny. In 2007 Kimi Räikkönen had this amazing bright blue on his Monaco helmet, and I instantly loved it. I found over the years that it was really hard for the painters to find and match that colour, so the blue had less meaning, but it’s just a colour I really liked. It’s something I think I’ll go back to one day, but I like the simplicity of my current look, and I don’t want it to be too busy.”

“This is very much the Hyde helmet in terms of Jekyll and Hyde, and I love embracing that dark side – when I put it on it feels great, and helps with that transformation from the person you are outside the car to the one in it. It helps flip that switch when you’re racing.”

“One thing that has always been consistent through all my helmets is carrying a Greg Moore tribute, the Canadian Indycar driver, which says ‘GM forever, red gloves rule’. He was the driver I looked up to as a kid, my superhero, and I always thought ‘if I could be like Greg Moore, that would be amazing’. He passed away far too soon, and I always remember watching that race.”

“His example is probably the one that has kept me going and been who I aspire to be, so it’s cool to pay homage to him while I’m doing it.”

To find about more about Stef, visit www.rzadracing.com 

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