Editors note: This article initially aired on BBRKarting.com. Before travelling to Valencia, Spain for the 2014 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, Bryce Choquer and family travelled to England to visit the Tillett Racing Seats factory, to have a custom rib protector made to ensure his troubling rib wouldn’t effect him on the global stage. Here is his story on how it went.
TILLETT RACING SEATS FACTORY TOUR AND CUSTOM RIB PROTECTOR
By: Bryce Choquer
Tillett Racing Seats are the leaders in the karting world when it comes to seats. Probably couldn’t count how many World Championships they have won in the last 30 years. My first Tillett seat that I got was in 1997 and we have been using them ever since. With our team now, there is only one seat we use now and that is the T11 and different stiffness’s. They are the best seats in the world, and most comfortable too.
Tillet is located in a small warehouse building complex. They own 4 of the 7 small warehouses in the complex. They are currently looking to purchase some land to build a building factory where everything is under one roof.
Owner Steve Tillett took us up into the custom rib protector room where I would be getting fitted. The first step was wrapping my whole body with tape, which was not fun taking off by the way. I laid down on the bed and Steve began to lay each layer of fibreglass down. The process took about 35-45 minuets. At one point I started to get a little worried when Steve was talking to my parents and I was laying there the material started getting almost uncomfortably hot. Once the rib protecter dried a little Steve removed it from my body and took the tape off as well. My job was done and the rest was up to Steve to cut and finish the rib protector.
We received a very nice tour of Tillett, everything from the karting seats to racing seats. There are two different process, one they manually lay the fiberglass down on a template, mainly to adjust small features, thicknesses, etc, but this process is mainly used for special orders. The second process is a vacuum mold, allowing for a much higher production rate and higher accuracy from one seat to the next. There was hundreds of different seat templates that were laying around, Tillett VG S/M is what I will normally use, and there was 3-5 VG S/M sizes you can order, wider waste, wider top, etc.
Steve told us to come back in about three hours to collect the Rib Protector, so we went to one of the shopping centers to kill some time. Once we returned the Rib Protector had been finished, I tried it on and did a quick test in one of the seats pushing hard on my right rib (fractured rib). Test passed.
Overall it was an amazing experience, I am very happy we were able to stop here and get this made.
Bryce Choquer #304 – BBR Karting
To see a photo gallery from Bryce’s visit, check out the BBR Karting website.