INTERVIEW: The man behind the Penske helmet and glove dryers

INTERVIEW: The man behind the Penske helmet and glove dryers
May 14, 2017 | 5:00 pm | Author: Steven Wright

As part of apexnews.co.nz‘s new feature, which is to shine the spotlight on the people who tend to be behind the scenes and not really recognized for their work in the mainstream media.

The next in this series of interviews will be done on one of DJR Team Penske’s suppliers, Apexnews.co.nz‘s Steven Wright spoke with Glen King who has been supplying DJR Team Penske with some helmet and glove dryers since 2015.

APEX: To our viewers, tell us who you are and what you do in relations to the Supercars Championship.

KING: I’m Glen King, and I am the owner and Director of King’s Fibreglass Pty Ltd based in Bayswater, Victoria, Australia. King’s Fibreglass are manufacturers of Quality Fibreglass Products and we are one of the most versatile fibreglass companies in the industry in regards to our ability and capabilities.

We are known as “The Home of Fibreglass Excellence”. We have our own range of products which included Playground and Pool slides and we are known as the leading fibreglass slide manufacturer in Australasia, also Mobile Dog Grooming Trailers, Mobile Coffee Trailers, Food Vending Trailers, Horse float roofs and of course our Helmet and Glove Dryers.

We also manufacture products for a variety of companies and customers including such names as Britz Motor Homes, Flexiglass, Tasty Fresh Food Company, Track Trailer, Volgren Buses, Air Radiators, national Gallery of Victoria, Blue Wheelers, Barkers Transport, Borland Racing Developments which is the breeding ground of Supercar drivers, this is just to name a few.

Our relationship with Supercars is mainly associated with DJR Team Penske which started several years ago. We have been fans and friends of the Johnson family for many years and got on board as a minor sponsor when the team was struggling and we have remained a small part ever since in regards to being their suppliers of Helmet and Glove Dryers and Pit Barriers.

We also sponsor Borland Racing Developments and have sponsored other drivers in the past such as Ashley Walsh, Scott Pye, Chaz Mostert and have also supported Dale Wood. We continue to sponsor up and coming Formula Ford drivers yearly through Borland Racing Developments as we know they will be the future of the Supercars Championship.

Helmet and Glove Dryer - Harley Davidson Front IMG_9868

APEX: I hope I’m right to assume that you’re a fan in motorsport, how did you get into motorsport?

KING: Yes I am a motorsport fan and have been one since my early childhood. The rivalry of Dick Johnson, Peter Brock and Allan Moffat drew me in as a child watching the trio fight it out at the finish lines, they were the superheroes of my youth.

APEX: You must be a Supercars fan, so I have to ask this question. Are you Holden or Ford supporter? or even a DJR Team Penske fan?

KING: Yes I am a Ford fan but majority Dick Johnson Racing and now DJR Team Penske fan which is mainly due to our relationship.

APEX: As you design the helmet and glove dryers for the Queensland-based DJR Team Penske, how did that deal come together?

KING: There are currently several other helmet stands out there in the marketplace but none of them dry the helmets or the gloves. When DJR Team Penske put the challenge up to us to develop something better that could accommodate their helmet and gloves and dry them at the same time I was up for the challenge.

I came back here to King’s Fibreglass and after discussions with my staff and collating ideas we came up with this design and we based it off a statuette of Michael Schumacher. We then have a fan fitted in the base of the stand and we have fins fitted internally to direct the air up into the gloves.

glen king 2017

APEX: In previous years, you supplied the team with many helmet coolers as they had many sponsors during the year. How many have you supplied them in a given year? 

KING: I can’t tell you exactly how many we have supplied, but we have made a helmet dryer for most of the liveries since Penske have come on board with DJR so as you can imagine it has been quite a few – there was one car for the first year and 2 cars from that point on including all the endurance drivers.

APEX: What happens to them in the following year, like do you get them back or does the team sell them to fans as antiques?

KING: The Helmet and Glove Dryers are returned to us where we chose to keep one of each livery in our showroom and the others are repainted and have new liveries for the following year. No DJR Team Penske helmet dryers have been sold off in the past but this year King’s Fibreglass along with DJR Team Penske and the Drivers Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin plan to action their Helmet and Glove Dryers with the proceeds going the Drivers chosen charity.

APEX: Can you tell us in detail without giving away your secrets, how do you make the helmet coolers?

KING: There is no real secret to how they are made. The Helmet and Glove Dryer is a three piece mould which is laid up in fibreglass. We then fit in the appropriate fins to direct the air into the required areas and then the challenge is in joining the parts together as you can imagine it is difficult to get right up into the arms, so there lies the secret. They are then painted and detailed in the required livery.

Helmet and Glove Dryer - Fan IMG_9962

APEX: Do you only design these especially for DJR Team Penske or do you do it for other teams?

KING: DJR/Team Penske is our chosen sponsored team but we do sell the Helmet and Glove Dryers to other drivers in all classes. A couple has just been recently completed for Todd Hazelwood in the Development Series with others currently also being made for other drivers.

e have also done several for Motorcycle riders done in the Harley Davidson livery. We are now in discussions with Team Penske to produce the Helmet and Glove Dryers for their NASCAR and INDY CAR teams. They are also available to the public for purchase in three styles, finished and ready for painting, painted or painted with livery.

We would like to thank Glen King from King’s Fibreglass spending time answering these questions, so check out their business if you’re interested in what they do outside motorsport via their website www.kingsfibreglass.com.au or via the phone (03) 9729 4945.

!!Kings Fibreglass Logo & Airbrush (2009).cdr