One of the stars of 2022 stood out on track and not just for his overtaking manoeuvres. Zane Maloney finished the season second in the Championship after mounting a great comeback in the points, capping off the year with three consecutive Feature Race wins.
The Trident man talks us through his crash helmet design, the story behind the stripes and his plans for a special edition version for 2023.
“Until I was about 11 years old, I was just running with a white helmet. Then my dad got me my first painted helmet and it had the Barbados flag all the way across it. That was about it really. As the years have progressed, I’ve tried to design my own stuff. We got rid of the Barbados flag because it was a bit too big so now instead, I just have the colours. People can still see it and it still stands out with those colours.
“On the side, I have the three stripes. This is because Lewis Hamilton used to run the stripes and I looked up to him coming through the ranks in my career. So they replicate what Lewis used to run. I used to have it with a lot of sparkles but for this year, kept with the carbon to try and save weight because it takes it out of your neck. Mostly I just try to keep the Barbados theme and get my sponsors into it. For next year, I’ll have something even better.
“There’s not so much to the current design. I went with something when I was younger and kind of stuck with it. I can’t say exactly why everything is there, but I like the look of it straight away and haven’t changed it since. The only thing that stands out for me is the stripes on the side. Lewis had it on his when he was coming up, so I really like that. Each year I try to simplify it and have a design that really stands out. If someone looks at a helmet, like Ayrton Senna for example, they look at it and know whose it is.
“I had the sparkles which I liked but my engineer didn’t really like it as much! To stand out a bit more in the car, with the sparkles it makes the colours look a bit jumbled together. Having the plain colours makes it stand out a bit more in the car. Of course, I’m trying to go with the yellow on the car as well to try and get the Barbados flag out there, keep promoting my island.
“The sponsors are all the same colours, it’s a bit of a coincidence but they’re all from Barbados so they’re going to have those colours. We try to push the flag and push the colours, so that’s why.
“I designed my helmet myself. I get a piece of paper and sketch it out like most drivers. I take a lot of pride in doing that. After I’ve got that done, I send it over to Nippy Designs. He does a few tweaks and paints it. It’s a quick process and I try to make it as quick as possible because you never know what you’re doing with it until the end of the year and the turnaround before next season is quite short. I’ve always changed colours between seasons which I’m trying to do a bit less now. I’ll probably stick to these colours a bit more now no matter what I do. I have the same design as last year with different colours and from 2019 and 2018, it’s the same design but with small changes to make it simpler.
“For next year, I plan on doing some special helmets. Racing is so expensive so even a helmet is quite expensive. My dad doesn’t love that! In the past I’ve not been able to get more than one helmet because of the cost but hopefully next year I’ll be able to. For me I’d love a home race to do one, but we don’t have that."