The only way to survive a violent accident such as this one is to have properly maintained
For the new season of racing, we wanted to remind all of our racers of the importance of safety. As you prepare for battle this year, please don’t forget to spend a few minutes thinking about all of the areas of safety connected with your racing.
Check each piece of equipment for age, wear, and effectiveness. That old kart suit that worked so well for your Quarter Midget racing won’t help you if your Street Stock catches fire. Most of the kart and Quarter Midget equipment might not be fire rated because of the reduced risk of fire in those race cars.
Inspect seatbelts for wear and chafing. If you had a few encounters with other cars or the walls at your speedway last year, your helmet might be damaged to the point that it needs to be inspected and possibly rebuilt. If you ran hot last year, then maybe a cool helmet is in your future.
We always stress the importance of using a quality head-and-neck restraint system and we continue to push for all racers, regardless of the class, to invest in one of these. You won’t need it until you need it, and then if you don’t have one on, it’s too late. Suck it up and shell out the bucks.
If you’re the owner and/or major sponsor of a race team, ask if the team has thoroughly planned out its safety situation. In the unfortunate event that an accident happens, bad results reflect on all those associated with the team including the sponsors.
For you track owners and sanctions, if you haven’t required proper safety equipment in the past, it’s time to rethink your rules for 2011 and with all of the cost saving mandates issued over the past few years, the teams should have plenty of money to go out and buy the proper safety equipment. We just know that was your intent all along, right?
Here are a few companies which offer quality safety products that would like to present some of their latest offerings. The descriptions are provided by the manufacturer.
The Snell SA2010-rated BR.1 from Bell is the first model in the industry that can be used as a traditional helmet, side forced-air or top forced-air helmet. By utilizing an innovative kit system, racers can now customize the BR.1 to adapt to their individual needs, different seat configurations, and other forms of racing throughout their career.
The BR.1 features a lightweight composite shell, leading-edge styling, aero front lip, and a large eyeport. The standard BR.1 is sold in the rear vent configuration featuring a venturi air exchange system. As air flows over the helmet, the venturi effect increases cooling inside the helmet and prevents the shield from fogging by creating a vacuum that pulls airflow through the helmet.
The BR.1’s rear-facing chin-bar vents and top vent provide ventilation while preventing dirt and dust from entering the helmet. These features make the BR.1 an outstanding choice for racers competing on dirt.
Thanks to the helmet’s versatility, racers no longer have to choose between a side forced-air or top forced-air model. By using the optional kit system, racers can easily switch the BR.1 to the desired forced-air configuration for their type of racing. Installing either the side (left) forced-air or top forced-air kit, the BR.1 becomes a full ventilation forced-air helmet.
The BR.1 incorporates Bell’s air chamber technology to increase pressure and accelerate airflow (when used with an external forced-air system) to maximize airflow for improved ventilation and comfort. Bell’s 2011 forced-air helmet features the Quick Lock forced-air nozzle that locks the forced-air connector in place yet allows for easy release when it’s time to exit the vehicle.
The smaller nozzle design helps accelerate airflow into the helmet. The Quick Lock nozzle can be used with traditional 1.5-inch diameter forced-air hoses by using the air adaptor kits that connect the hose with the Bell Quick Lock nozzle. In addition, customers have the option of using a top or side forced-air kit using the traditional round or standard barb nozzle.
Crow Enterprizes offers a full line of safety gear and tie-downs for your type of racing. Driver restraints are available for Off Road, Quarter Midget, Drag Racing, Sprint Car, Formula, and Stock Cars.
A new item that is available from Crow for harness applications is the Dog Bone tapered design for the shoulder belts. The harness tapers from 3 inches to 2 inches, and then back to 3 inches to accommodate head-and-neck restraint systems.
When ordering your belts, just add $12 and an “H” to the part number to add the Dog Bone harness to any restraint system.
For many racers, head-and-neck restraints have two big drawbacks: they tend to be pricey and they are cumbersome to wear. Well, the new defNder team-issue head-and-neck device addresses the issues of price and fit and still provides great protection.
While it may look similar to other HNR devices on the market, defNder’s unique design incorporates flexible formfit belts and a stabilizer bar chassis design that offers drivers unparalleled comfort. The design of the system allows you to put it on straight over your head, just as you would your helmet, and gives you complete freedom of mobility by allowing you to turn your head to the left and right.
The device has easily achieved the SFI-38.1 certification for HNRs in testing. The defNder’s figures were very consistent in both frontal and 30-degree tests, a testament to the significant amount of emphasis defNder’s design team placed on side-impact protection.
The defNder is constructed from high-performance injection composites, and features the highest grade hardware and technically advanced nylon in the Motion-Max tether system, the heart of the side impact protection. Motion-Max incorporates something the manufacturer calls VST geometry which acts as a stabilizer in side-impact scenarios. This is also the same system that allows you the freedom of turning your head left to right.
A big plus in the design of the defNder are the harness flares which locate your safety belts and keep the device from sliding around. You can easily exit your vehicle in an emergency situation.
Everything you need to set up your defNder, including the helmet anchors, is included in the MSRP of $549.99 (excluding tax and shipping). It comes with a simple-to-follow instruction/owner’s manual, a baseball cap, decals for your race car, and is all contained in environmentally friendly packaging.
G-Force Racing Gear offers a complete line of racing belts in Latch & Link, or camlock design that are sold in five-point or six-point configurations. They offer dual ratings for both SFI-16.1 and FIA. All belts are sold by G-Force Racing Gear Dealers starting at $149.99.
Features include pull-down lap and shoulder adjustment. Belts come with bolt-in hardware, but can be used as wrap-around or used with optional snap-in hardware.
G-Force Racing is also proud to offer a re-webbing program for both the Latch & Link and the camlock-designed systems. When you send back your outdated G-Force Racing Gear harness set, all hardware is thoroughly checked for wear and replaced if necessary. Then all webbing is removed, discarded, and replaced with brand-new G-Force Racing Gear webbing. All appropriate FIA and SFI labels are attached and the rebuilt belt system will be shipped directly to you. This program takes two to three weeks and costs $54.99 plus shipping for the Latch & Link, and $109.99 plus shipping for the camlock system.
The RaceQuip SA2010 Full Face helmet is an all new design that incorporates prepreg construction based on steel tooling. In this process, the optimum ratio of resin is impregnated into the composite fabric (a combination of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and FRP) prior to molding.
Next, the prepreg is forced into the steel mold using vacuum pressure, then oven cured to precise thermal specifications. This manufacturing technique eliminates excess resin weight and ensures uniform shell thickness while leaving the outer surface smooth and blemish free. The shell is then mated to an expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner to create a modern lightweight helmet design.
The RaceQuip Snell SA2010 Full Face helmet is loaded with many features you would expect to find in a helmet costing much more. These features include a lightweight composite shell, aluminum pivot kit with an adjustable friction lock, plus a silicone shield gasket to keep out dirt and dust.
Dirt racers will especially like the fact that all the vent holes have been removed from the front of the helmet. A wide eyeport provides great peripheral vision and allows for the use of personal eyewear. The distortion-free, low-fog polycarbonate faceshield is a full 3 mm thick and comes with eight positions and hand ratcheting tear-off posts.
Of course, the SA spec means that both the helmet’s paint and interior are fire retardant so it’s suitable for use in the highest forms of auto racing competition. The helmet incorporates a Kevlar chin strap for strength, a comfort-fit blended Nomex interior for great feel, and pre-drilled holes for easier installation of head-and-neck restraint anchors.
Wrap all these features in a lightweight aero design composite shell for just $249, and the result is the outstanding value delivered by RaceQuip.
The Simpson Air Inforcer Shark helmet has all new styling with attitude according to the company. The Snell SA2010-rated helmet’s design features a stylish top cap designed for better pipe placement and a low profile for multiple roof/driver height, a newly designed shield pivot system, and a newly designed shield latch that opens with ease.
The recessed eye port offers a 100-percent shield seal. This helmet is designed to be head-and-neck restraint compatible, and radio communications are available. The unit is shipped complete with two 3mm shields (clear and smoke) and includes a helmet bag. Best of all it’s made in the USA.
However for its 2011 offerings, Simpson didn’t stop just at the helmet. With its recent acquisition of Safety Solutions, its new Hybrid Pro is the next generation in head restraints. It offers excellent protection combined with the security of a hybrid design. With its patent-pending triangulated tether design and patented seatbelt anchoring system, this is truly a multiple-angle, multiple-impact device that is undetectable in the seat system for unbelievable comfort. And it’s SFI-38.1–certified. This is the smallest carbon shape on the market, has a low top, and provides an easier exit from the vehicle.
The Hyrid Pro is easy to use and goes on like a backpack. It has a simple chest buckle and straps that hook to the seatbelts stabilizing the device in angular and side impacts. With it strapped to you, it works with you as opposed to against you.
Also new for 2011 is Simpson’s Hybrid Fire Suit, an SFI-5–rated, multi-layer fire resistant suit that is all new and will be available around the time you read this. It has contrasting premium V-Quilting and trim with dimension and style. The 360-degree arm gussets allow more freedom of movement of the arms. The suit comes with straight cuffs and the colors are black/white, yellow/black, blue/white, and red/white.
The Simpson Hybrid suit is a multi-layer standard suit that exhibits unmatched breathability in a lightweight and comfortable design and is constructed of Simpson’s newest Satin Fire Resistant fabric which exhibits a semi-shiny finish and a smooth even drape.
These are just a few of the many great safety products available to you this season. As I said earlier, please don’t forget to spend a few minutes thinking about all of the areas of safety connected with your racing. It’ll be better for all of us.