Installing aftermarket racing seats to your car will allow you to daily drive it as well as safely race on the track. They are designed to hold your body in place and provide you with better control around the corners.
The best racing seat is the Sparco R100, which is compatible with the majority of cars and can be reclined for access to the back seats. If you require a FIA approved bucket seat, the MOMO START is the best option.
There are various styles available with most manufacturers offering different color options to suit your interior. Your budget will play a big part with regards to your buying decision as they do vary in price.
Table of Contents
- Best Racing Seats
- Racing Seats Buying Guide
Best Racing Seats
|Sparco R100||37.2 LBS||No|
|MOMO START||17.8 LBS||Yes|
|NRG Innovations FRP-301||20.5 LBS||No|
|Sparco 008231RS Sprint||24.6 LBS||Yes|
|OMP RS-PT2||10.4 LBS||Yes|
As with auto racing helmets, you should also be looking for SIA or FIA approved racing seats, which meets the safety standards. Some of the best brands that we highly recommend include Sparco, OMP, Bride, Recaro and a few others.
Spending extra for FIA approved bucket racing seats is highly recommended for safety and approval to race on the track. There are several regulations that relate to certain types of racing, which are required by most organized motorsport.
Below is a list of the best racing seats that are comfortable for your daily driver and provide the best seating position for the track.
Sparco R100 Aftermarket Racing Seats
Sparco are one of the most well-known brand within the automotive racing industry. Their R100 racing seats are by far the most popular due to the comfortable seating position and compatibility with the majority of cars.
If you need to recline the seat to allow passengers into the rear seats, the R100 seat can be reclined with tilt levers on either side.
Other features of the Sparco R100 Seats include:
- Weighs 37.2 LBS
- Compatible with 3 and 4 point harnesses
- Tubular steel frame for strength
- Bottom mount compatibility
- Low bolstering
- Side bolsters and padding for comfort
- Cloth seat material
- Multiple color options
It is important to note that this seat is not FIA approved, which may be a requirement for certain motorsports.
Overall, they are the best racing seats for a daily driver and occasional track use. They are compatible with the majority of the cars on the road as well as the required harnesses. The Sparco R100 racing seats also offer great value for the money when compared to the alternatives.Check it Out
MOMO START Car Racing Seats
MOMO are the direct competitors to Sparco and their START model is a FIA approved racing seat. It uses a fiberglass shell that is upholstered in a durable black velour fabric, which is self-extinguishing.
A unique feature of this racing seat is the 5 seat belt openings, which allows you to integrate any seat belt to suit your requirements.
Other features of the MOMO START (1070) Bucket Seats include:
- Weighs 17.8 LBS
- 4 side fixing points
- No visible fiberglass
- Durable velour fabric
- Compatible and approved by FIA
Although the MOMO START is far more expensive than the Sparco R100, it does have the added benefit of being FIA approved.
The design is fairly similar apart from the higher bolsters but as an all-round racing seats, the MOMO START is the best option.Check it Out
NRG Innovations FRP-301 Racing Bucket Seats
Affordable racing seats can be difficult to find from well-known brands. However, NRG have an excellent reputation and the FRP-301 seats are perfect for those on a tight budget. Their racing bucket seats are not FIA approved but are ideal for occasional track use or a daily driver.
In order to improve comfort, these racing bucket seats have additional lumbar support and are available in two different sizes.
Other features of the NRG Innovations FRP-301 Bucket Seats include:
- Fiberglass shell
- Weighs 20.5 LBS
- 4 seat belt openings
- Includes side mount brackets
- Durable fabric covering
Overall, the NRG FRP-301 are excellent all-round racing seats that are affordable, look great and provide a comfortable seating position. They are a universal fit but you will need seat brackets to complete the installation.Check it Out
Sparco Sprint Competition Racing Seats
Another auto racing bucket seat by Sparco is the Sprint model and unlike the R100, this bucket seat is FIA approved. It uses a tubular frame that can be fastened from the on the side or bottom of the seat.
Other features of the Sparco Sprint Competition Seats include:
- Weighs 24.6 LBS
- Uses fire-retardant fabric
- Available in red, black or blue
- Holes for fifth or sixth seat belt points
- Includes additional side attachment fastenings
We would recommend this bucket seat for track use as opposed to daily driving. It includes all the design aspects that you would expect as well as being FIA approved. It is a fairly expensive bucket seat but compared to similar alternatives, it still offers good value for money.Check it Out
OMP RS-PT2 Lightweight Racing Seats
For those that want a track focused racing seat, the OMP RS-PT2 is the best option. It is FIA approved with a fiberglass shell bucket style seat and large shoulder harness slots that can accommodate various heights.
The standout feature of the RS-PT2 is the high side bolsters for lateral leg support and higher protection. It also has a shaped security headrest that limits lateral movement of the helmet.
Other features of the OMP RS-PT2 include:
- Weighs just 10.4 LBS
- HSC and HANS compatible
- FIA approved
- Removable back cushion
- Split leg rests
- Completely covered in black velour
It is one of the lightest racing seats available that conforms to the majority of racing standards. Although RS-PT2 model is expensive, it is a worthwhile investment that will allow you to take your car to the next level.Check it Out
Racing Seats Buying Guide
Installing aftermarket racing seats to your car can make a huge difference. Not only will they change the aesthetics of your interior but they also provide more control and safety whilst racing.
Unless you are lucky enough to own a “track only” car, you are more than likely going to install the racing seats into your daily driver. This means that not only do they need to have a track-focused design but also provide adequate comfort.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding racing seats.
FIA Approval and HANS Compatibility
If you are racing within an organized motorsport or professional, you will need FIA approved race seats. The standards have recently changed from the older 8855-1999 to the newer 8862-2009 standard.
The main difference is that the newer standard simulates four impacts as opposed to three. Other alterations includes the need to use stiff, energy absorbing foam in the head, shoulder and pelvis areas.
Certain racing seats may also state that it is HANS compatible, which allow room for the harness without pushing your head or neck forward.
All racing bucket seats are designed to be universal as long as there is enough space in the car. However, they are only universal by replacing the mounting mechanisms that it connects to in the car. These are designed to withstand the force of track use but do not always come with the seat.
Regardless to whether you are installing racing seats into your daily driver or race car, you will still spend hours sitting on the seat. Therefore, comfort is a major factor to consider as older bucket seats are known to be uncomfortable.
Additional padding will improve the comfort levels but too much may allow for too much movement. If you are finding it too uncomfortable for daily driving, we recommend that you purchase a car seat cushion, which can be easily removed whilst driving on the track.
An easy method to improve your performance on the track is to reduce the weight of your car. Therefore choosing the lightest racing seats would be the best option.
The majority weigh between 15 to 40 LBS but there are some exceptions that are lighter. However, these seats will be made using premium materials that will increase the cost of the seat.
Unless you have a fully stripped out race car, you will more than likely have seats in the back. Depending upon whether your car is a two or four door, the ability to recline the seat is highly desirable.
If you do not wish to have the reclining feature, you can simply only replace the drivers seat and leave the passenger seat. This will allow other passengers to climb to the rear seats via the front passenger seat.
Before getting your tool out and removing the current seat, you will want to ensure that you have all the hardware.
Components that you will require are mounting brackets that connect to the bottom or side, optional sliders, bolts to secure it in place and a mechanics socket set.
In order to remove the factory seats, we advise that you firstly disconnect the battery. This avoids any electrical damage and triggering the airbags.
You then unbolt the front and rear bolts of the seat brackets, disconnect any connectors and then you should be ready to pull the seat out of the car. Depending upon the seat configuration, you may also need to remove the seat belt buckle.
Once removed, you will then be able to install the racing seats, which is the reverse of the above steps. However, when it comes to positioning the seat, you will want to check it suit your requirements before securely bolting it in. Not every seat will use sliders or allow for adjusting, therefore its important to get it right at the start.
Once securely bolted in place in the correct position, you can then begin to install the seat belt or harness position.
In order to drive your car, you will be sat on the seat for long periods of time. Therefore, you will want a seat that is durable and will perform as you would expect. Some of the best racing seat brands that we recommend include:
The lower priced alternatives may seem tempted but for peace of mind, we recommend the above racing seat brands.
Even though some manufacturers claim that they will be as comfortable as stock seats, they more than likely won’t. You also lose out upon certain comfort features such as electric, heated, orthopedic and other additional functionality.
However, if you are installing racing seats, you will be more than aware of these drawbacks and are only focused upon the benefits.
If you enjoy taking your car to the track for circuit or drag racing, drifting or other motorsports, installing racing seats is highly advised.
There are a small minority of cars that come with bucket seats from the factory but installing a FIA approved seat will ensure you are protected.
All of our recommendations are suitable for a range of budgets and types of driving. Not everyone will want a fully track-focused seat in their daily driver, which is why we included some seats that are not FIA approved.