Q: “I have a question I was hoping you can help answer. I have been getting numbness and tingling in my hands, most recently after doing the 25 hours of Thunderhill it was really bad. Have you seen this before? Anything I can do?”
A: I’ve experienced various levels of this type of thing myself, although most of the time for me it’s been in my legs and feet. And I know of other drivers who have had some numbness in their hands and arms (and legs and feet).
As far as I know, every time it’s due to a pinched nerve – or at a minimum, reduced blood flow to that part of the body. For example, when I’ve had it in my legs/feet, the seat was pushing up too much into the back of my upper leg, reducing blood flow to the lower part of my leg. I’m only guessing, but I suspect that the numbness and tingling you’re experiencing is due to something similar.
Gripping the steering wheel could also contribute to it, so you should look at and experiment with holding the wheel with a lighter touch. But I’d suggest sitting in your car with all your gear on, belts done up tight, and move as if you’re driving (if the car is up on stands, you’ll be able to turn the steering wheel fully, and that could be the place that’s causing some pinching), and just pay super-attention to every little spot that is uncomfortable. It could be the HANS device digging into your shoulder, belts pulling in the wrong direction, seat not supporting your body (so you have to use muscles to support yourself), or something like that. You may have to imagine what your body is feeling when dealing with g-forces, because it may not show up when sitting still; you may have to sit there for a long period of time to try to reproduce the problem. But it would be worth figuring it out, right?!