We take you behind the visor with Hitech Grand Prix’s American star Kaylen Frederick, who talks about his US racing roots and why it’s important to display them on his helmet.
“My first racing helmet was painted by me and my dad,” he recalled. “We wanted it to be visible from a distance, so we painted it bright fluorescent orange, with yellow and black accents. It was spray-painted, so it didn’t last too long, but it was pretty cool and started the trend for my next few helmets."
“I had two or three different renditions of that style professionally painted and it was my look for a while - I liked it and you could see me clearly. After a while, I decided to simplify it and make it more minimalistic, getting rid of the flicks and the spikes on there.
“I joined a team called Pelfrey and their colour was yellow, so I transition from fluorescent orange and blue to fluorescent yellow and blue. After that, I went to white, yellow and blue, which was just before I moved to Carlin in British F4.
“I put the logo together myself during the first lockdown on photoshop. At some point, I am sure that I will have it done professionally, but I think that it works as it is."
“You have got the stars and the stripes on top, as well as the American flag, but mostly, it is pretty simple. I’ve always had chrome on my helmets because I think it pops, it looks fancy and cool.
“All of my early career, all of my early karting, was in the US. I started there and my first couple of years in car racing was in the US, but now I'm practically English at this point! My racing roots are definitely from the US, though, and I think that it is important to carry that on my helmet, especially now that I am racing in Europe, where you don’t see too many Americans racing."
“In terms of sponsors, you have Pilot1, who have been with me since karting. They’ve been extremely important and supportive. We get a lot of value from working with them and I am really thankful for their help.
“The helmets are designed and painted by a guy called Austin Polen, Polen designs. He is a US-based painter and does a lot of helmets for drivers in the US, especially those on the Road to Indy. He painted my first professional helmet and I don’t think I’ll ever switch from him. I have loved every helmet he’s ever made for me.”