When we go to see a race, who do we really see? What pictures do we take? Mainly we will go to see the race, the drivers, the cars, the grid girls and maybe take a picture of some mechanics or the team manager. But no race would ever happen without all the people working behind the scene. The people who prepare the track, the tires, the race suits, helmets and all the other people which are never seen behind the scenes. We want to change that and introduce this people to you.
We start today with a man, who prepares the helmets for the drivers.
The helmet of a race driver is his/her treasure. Beside the main fact that it protects your head, it also is the unique place where the drivers can show their individual design and also the place to give your sponsors space for their advertisement.
There are two ways to bring the design on a helmet. You paint it or you wrap the helmet. To paint a helmet takes quite a long time and making changes later on are difficult. It also is much more expensive then wrapping a helmet. But to wrap a helmet is difficult, due to the shape of a helmet, it needs some special skills.
What do you do if your new sponsor wants to see his logo the next day on your helmet? It`s simple you call Masato Wakisaka, the man who can do the job.
We met Mr. Wakisaka at Fuji Speedway, where he showed the fans his work. Here are some questions we asked him:
APJ: How long does it take to wrap a complete helmet?
Wakisaka: Including the design process it can take up to one month.
APJ: Who does the design?
Wakisaka: Our company president Mr. Wakisaka designing the helmets. But if our customers wish to have another designer, we can order them on request.
Wakisaka: For racing helmets, the foil should be replaced after one season. However, long-term use is sufficiently possible due to maintenance and design.
APJ: Do you print the design foil directly by yourself?
Wakisaka: Yes, we print everything by ourselves. This gives us the possibility to respond very fast to customer requests.
Wakisaka: The wrapping of the helmet changes depending on the design because the film used is different, the price will fluctuate, but it will start from 60,000 yen. The price for the design starts from 20,000 yen. But of course, you can bring your own design.
APJ: Who are your most famous customers in Japanese racing scene?
Wakisaka: In car racing for example: Mr. Toshiya Miyazawa, Takeshi Matsumoto, Toshiyuki Ochiai, Takayuki Ochiai, and motorcycle racing: Yuta Date, Yutaka Ishizuka, Yuki Kunii, etc.
You want to contact Mr. Wakisaka to get your own helmet design? Find him here:
Factory-M Masato Wakisaka
73-4 Tajiri Wakayama-shi Wakayama-ken 641-0005