Saturday | 14 Jun 2014

The story behind the helmet: Kris Meeke

Ever wondered why Kris Meeke’s crash helmet looks like it does? Well, we sat down with the Citroen driver to get the full story. And it turned out to be a very valuable one, too…

Starting point

“I have a guy at home near Belfast who painted my helmet last year and he did a mega job. I gave him a picture of the Citroen at the start of this season and asked him to come up with something that looks similar to the rally car. He’s able to do lacquered and matt finishes so I knew he’d do something nice with those different textures.”

No special requests

“I’ve never had a personal helmet design or anything like that – I don’t think it has any bearing on the stage times in the rally results! As long as it looks smart and suits the job, that’s fine by me. The only thing I asked for was some sort of flag somewhere subtle in the design. My man incorporated it into one of the stripes that wrap the helmet.”

Valuable detail

“I like things that look nice and a bit racey and when the designer saw the Abu Dhabi branding on the car, he came up with a cool idea. He said: ‘Why don’t we emboss the emblem of Abu Dhabi on top of the helmet in 24 Carat gold leaf paint?’ I said, wow! I think it’s a great detail and it’s nice and safe on the top of the helmet – it won't get chipped or scuffed up there.”

Other drivers

“Some of the other guys in the championship have seen the helmet and been impressed. The guy that’d painted mine has now worked with Khalid (Al-Qassimi – Meeke’s Citroen team-mate) and Craig Breen (WRC privateer) on theirs as well. He definitely knows what works on a helmet and he’s a proper artist.”

Keeping the options open

“I’ve left the microphone boom on the front of the helmet blank – just incase someone can see their name on there. Everyone always says to me: ‘why is that bit all white and empty?’ I tell them I’m keeping my options open. You never know when a sponsor might come along…”

More News