In endurance racing, it’s critical for crew and officials to be able to identify your car at night. Sure, your crew might know which crazy-looking LED strip pattern is yours, but the officials might not. The best way to ensure everyone knows who you are is with lighted number panels.
They look great at night, and they’re visible from far away. They’re flexible, thin and they generate no heat. The only drawback is when the panels aren’t lighted, they look pink. So if you install them permanently, you’ll have pink number plates.
There are a number of ways to install them. You could lay them underneath permanent number panels and wire them to a switch the driver can reach on the dash. Since this car is used more for sprint races than enduros, I wanted to devise a system in which the lighted number panels could be removed when not needed.
We sourced the EnduroBright number panel kit from Enduro-Racer.com for $279. The kit includes two 12-inch by 12-inch panels, an inverter and the wiring needed to make it all work. Added weight is negligible, maybe a pound.
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We got the daytime number panel decals from GoGoGear.com. The decals had a 12-inch by 12-inch area for the numbers and the required side NASA sticker incorporated into the top of it. The idea was to tape on the lighted panel, which has the same dimensions as the daytime number panel, for enduros that run after dark. That way the lighted panels wouldn’t sustain damage from the tire donuts that happen more often during sprint races.
Because the number panels are pink, we had decals cut in reverse type, so the decal would cover most of the pink and the numbers would really stand out at night. In fact, the lighted panels are so bright, they make the blue decal overlay glow a bit, too. Here’s one way to do it.