By: Rick Bairett
Photos: David Arellano and Rick Bairett
If you’ve found yourself wanting to purchase high-quality race drivers’ kit at a brick-and-mortar store in Utah, you’re in luck. On October 8th, the LVRY flagship drivers’ pro-shop and lounge opened at the Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) in a big way.
Their Grand Opening event featured 300-400 cars on display, included roll racing, and turnout was excellent. Still, if you’re wondering what’s up with LVRY, or just not aware of the new store, read on.
The LVRY Lounge + Shop is in the same building as the UMC entry gate. So it can be accessed from either inside or outside the gate. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should. The shop is already proving to be a real asset to drivers. As for the lounge, there’s nothing like it at UMC and drivers are always welcome to use it while at the track.
Owner Michael Shumway and store manager David Arellano described the multifaceted vision of the LVRY flagship location.
First, the LVRY brand has been operating as an online entity, but this is the first physical store. Accordingly, lots of safety gear and other racing supplies can be purchased at the track, right when drivers realize they need something. So you don’t have to order and wait. For instance, one HPDE driver realized they would benefit from having on-track performance data to review and was able to purchase a Garmin data unit immediately.
Second, the LVRY lounge is intended to bring the driving community together. It’s already being used for drivers’ meetings and instruction, but that’s just the beginning.
LVRY plans to host a year-round drivers’ education series to develop different topics relevant to motorsport. Gallery nights to support local track photographers are coming and motorsport-specific podcasts will be broadcast from the store.
The huge monitors can be used for watch parties like the recent one for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, which was full to capacity. And speaking of monitors, LVRY operators are working on installing a couple of racing simulators before the season kicks off again in March.
Clearly, LVRY is becoming a value-added venue for drivers to hone their craft by connecting with experts and peers and by connecting with the right equipment.
Product offerings center around driver safety and comfort, with quality that LVRY rep’s describe as being every bit as good as the best Italian-made gear available.
The clothing lineup centers around fire-retardant race suits, gloves, socks, and undergarments. LVRY gear meets SFI and FIA safety standards and is a rare US brand that supports US racing. Normal suit costs also include tailoring to the individual driver, which can only help performance.
As for dedicated driving shoes, they’re great for lightness and pedal feel but have a reputation for being uncomfortable to walk in. Chicane has reportedly solved that problem and is the only shoe brand that LVRY partners with. Stilo helmets—often considered to be among the best—are also available.
Finally, drivers that fly to other tracks have experienced having to check multiple bags to stow all of their safety gear. LVRY now produces a unique bag with pockets for a helmet, HANS gear, fire-suit and other cloth gear, and driving shoes in a single carry-on bag. Local pro Bryson Lew was recently able to fly to a race with his gear and extra suits, using only the LVRY carry-on and a personal item.
LVRY further has the rights to UMC-licensed clothing and related merchandise, which can be purchased only at this store. They also have locally-created, track-centric and UMC-centric artwork and related books and décor. If you see it on display it’s probably available for purchase. If you don’t see it, you can probably order it—for example, a painting of your own track car.
The People Behind the Products
LVRY owner Michael Shumway has partnered with experienced designers who have turned their attention and talents to racing.
JJ Collier, the chief designer of the LVRY carry bag and race suits, brings vast experience from apparel fashion. He created for Ralph Lauren and designed ski apparel for Spyder, including US Olympic Team suits. JJ is also a Porsche Club of America instructor and 911 junkie, so knows firsthand what works and doesn’t work for drivers in a demanding track environment.
As for Utah-based Chicane racing shoes, John Connelly created them from a manufacturer perspective. John spent 40 years making outdoor footwear and now races a Manthey-Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. So he combined his passions for footwear and sports car racing to develop Chicane. The result is a reportedly-excellent blend of lightweight comfort and function.
When it comes to running the store, manager David Arellano has been a car guy his entire life. His dad was a mechanic and David has a background in high-end, boutique automotive goods and services. The racing world is new to him but he is embracing it by getting his own personally-built cars on track. He describes LVRY as being a great fit for him because the company is passionate about providing the best products and services.
The first time I walked into the LVRY Lounge + Shop was to attend a NASA Utah drivers’ meeting. The looks, layout and décor—race cars. lots of natural wood, and leather couches—immediately impressed me. The lounge was definitely a huge upgrade over typical meeting rooms.
There are lots of great automotive art pieces and books, a white board with the UMC track layout, and of course plenty of merchandise professionally displayed. As noted, you can also expect to see actual race cars, borrowed from different local teams on a rotating basis.
With the track relatively dormant for the winter, operating hours will be limited until March. LVRY still plans to have a reliable schedule, so will be open on Friday & Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. The LVRY Lounge + Shop should also be open anytime there are track events at UMC.
© 2023, R Bairett