We are here with Stefano Anderlini, R&D manager at Sparco and an expert on racing products.
As a designer and you are passionate about sea, engines and races: Stefano, how do you see the future of racing products?
Customization is the key: all companies are progressively specialising in the manufacturing specialized products for their customers, because their individual needs are increasing exponentially. Every driver requires maximum performance from all the products he uses; belts, suits, shoes, helmets.
Helmets are a very delicate topic, since each person has a different head shape. Do you think it is possible to please everyone?
First of all, I think the helmets will become progressively safer in the future, as they’ll be designed to withstand tougher and tougher impacts. Carbon fiber will be used increasingly, but we are also considering the use of special alloys for the future in order to meet the different needs of each client.
It’s really important to take care of every detail of a helmets range, from the most expensive to the most economical product. It is not by chance that Sparco is going to present the J PRO line, including innovative products in fibreglass, in 2014.
We’d like to get a preview of this new project…
J PRO is the new high technology Sparco Helmet project for 2014, aiming at satisfying the needs of both the pilots who want a new, 100% made in Italy product, and of those who need to replace a BSI approved helmet. The J PRO helmets are SNELL 2010 (helmet) and FIA 8858 2010 (Hans anchors) approved. The helmets are available with (J PRO-i) or without (J PRO) an intercom.
What are the characteristics of the J PRO project?
I’d say, “every head in its place”! In fact, the uniqueness of these helmets is to have 2 caps plus 3 polystyrene layers: the combination of these 5 elements allows us to meet all the needs of our regular clients, with sizes from XS to XXL. By default, the other lines only feature 2 caps and 2 polystyrene layers: Sparco has added a polystyrene layer for added comfort and a better fit.
Let’s talk about details: what’s the main characteristic of the J PRO helmets?
The inside is fixed in order to obtain a lighter helmet and it’s lined with Nomex fireproof fabric. The closing strap is in Kevlar, with a steel “DOUBLE D” locking system. The cap is in fibreglass and the adjustable sun visor is lighter compared to that of the previous helmets, because it has been thinned with the use of a new system.
That technology sounds like it has lightened the helmet. How much do they weigh?
J Pro has an average weight of 1,400 grams.
J Pro-i has an average weight of 1,500 grams.
You also offer a version with an intercom: can you tell us more about the J PRO-I?
The J Pro-i adds an intercom that features a dynamic microphone with noise reduction. The polyurethane cups are soundproof and have ergonomic ear seals.
The dynamic microphone is mounted on a flexible arm designed for optimal positioning of the capsule in front of the mouth. On the inside, there’s a steel and brass spiral core, while the outside is made in self-extinguishing plastic. The cable is coiled with a Nexus male connector used in the military to be linked with the Sparco IS140 or IS120N control unit (compatible with the most common junction boxes).
When will the helmet be available?
All sizes are available in our warehouses now.
Thank you so much for talking with us, Stefano. One more question: how many new products will Sparco launch in 2014?
We did a great job on racing suits, karting suits and racing seats, but I can’t say more. You’ll just have to wait a few weeks to see them. Let’s just say that next year Sparco will be proud to introduce to the market a highly revolutionary product, as only a true market leader can do. So, we’ll just have to wait a few months!