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Friday, July 25, 2014

Snell SA 2015 Racing Helmets

The next Snell Helmet Certification cycle will be designated Snell SA2015. The current calender would tell us that is only a few months away, but in actuality, the Snell SA2015 Helmets will not be available until October 1st, 2015. Many manufacturers will not even be ready to introduce their new lineup until 2016.
The major change when compared to the SA 2010 models, is all SA2015 Helmets will have the threaded backing plate for Head and Neck Restraints installed during the actual helmet construction. This change will making simpler for racers to attach their HANS hardware to the helmet, no longer will they need to drill holes and remove interior padding.
Unless you are racing professionally, in the top levels of the sport, the current SA2010 Helmet will easily be permitted by most sanctioning bodies or race tracks, at least into the year 2020.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Quarter Midget Racer Safety

The incredible growth of youth motorsports, has been fueled by the combination of family fun, future career opportunities and the advances in personal safety equipment.

Quarter Midget Race Suits are now specifically tailored to properly fit the young racer. A wide range of pricing, colors, style, design and protection levels are now available. All Quarter Midget Race Suits, Race Jackets and/or Race Pants should have an SFI 3.2A/1 or 3.2A/5 patch affixed to a visible part of the garment. This certifies that the manufacturer has submitted random samples for independent testing.

Quarter Midget Helmets, that meet either the SFI 24.1 or the Snell SA2010 testing standards are also being produced by multiple manufacturers. The SFI 24.1 Helmets are Youth specific, as the shell is smaller than the adult models. This results in a reduction in weight, which can be very beneficial to the safety of extremely small racers. If the child's head size is too large for the Youth sized racing helmets, there are abundant X-Small and Small Adult sized helmets, which should have the Snell SA2010 sticker located on the helmet.

Quarter Midget Head and Neck Restraints have become increasingly popular. While many think it may be an unnecessary expense due to the relatively low speeds, the head and neck restraint is proven to prevent injuries at any speed. Also, if the young racer shows talent and desire, they may someday decide to progress to full size race cars, so there is no awkward transition in adapting to a head and neck restraint system.

Quarter Midget Nomex Gloves are available in single or double layer fire resistant materials. Some companies offer a one size fits all "Junior" racing glove, while other companies have multiple sizing from 7 X-Small on up.

Quarter Midget Racing Shoes are only offered by a handful of companies, namely Ultra Shield and RaceQuip, starting at Size 1. The advantages of a purpose built racing shoe, versus a pair of athletic shoes are, fire resistant materials and a thin sole. The fire resistant advantages are obvious, but the thinner shoe sole should help the driver acquire a better "feel" of the throttle and brake pedals, the lighter weight of the racing shoe should also help reduce fatigue.

Quarter Midget Arm Restraints are required by most tracks and sanctioning bodies. Rollovers are actually common in Quarter Midget racing, the restraints contain the drivers arms inside the cockpit area.

Alpinestars Auto Race and Kart Gloves

If you don't have access to a local speed shop, that actually has adequate inventory to try on safety equipment, purchasing personal race gear through catalogs or the internet can be a difficult task.
Even though is primarily a mail order/online operation, there are many racers who stop by to get outfitted. Most are looking for maximum protection for minimal expenditure, and we understand and stock the shelves accordingly. We also get to observe the gear impresses our local racers, which enables us to convey this information to our national and international customers.
Without a doubt, the Alpinestars Karting and Auto Race Gloves are getting outstanding feedback. Drivers may purchase the entry level race suit, but once they try on the Alpinestars gloves...well, just got to have them! A drag racer, adamant that he needed SFI-5 gloves and impressed by the lightweight feel, asked, "are you sure these are double layer gloves?" Oval track racers who have previously shunned gloves, are deciding that the Alpinestars are finally the way to go. Sports car racers, who are typically very knowledgeable of premium race gear, are appreciating the relatively affordable price for high quality gloves. Kart racers are going beyond satisfying their "must have gloves" rule, recognizing the superior comfort and design. The Alpinestars Race Gloves may be a few bucks more than the budget brand, but money very well spent in the end.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nomex Underwear for Auto Racing

Nomex underwear or underwear constructed from other Fire Retardant materials, are an effective and relatively inexpensive way to add additional protection to your race safety program.
Independent lab testing on nomex or proban type underwear, when worn in conjunction with a nomex or proban race suit, can practically double the effective heat transfer rate.
SFI-1, 3.2A/1 or single layer race suits with the addition of nomex underwear, increases the heat transfer rate from 3 to 6 seconds. SFI-5, 3.2A/5 or multi layer race suits with the addition of nomex underwear increases the heat transfer rate from 9 seconds to 19 seconds. Of course, these numbers are approximates, conducted by the SFI Foundation's lab testing, under certain conditions.
Racers can purchase a fire retardant top and bottom, with an SFI certification tag, for around 100.00. Nomex socks and a nomex head sock or balaclava, are also available for racers concerned with protecting themselves to the fullest.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hans Device Anchors

There are currently 2 types of anchors to connect your Hans Device to your racing helmet.

The Hans Post Anchor is the most common system. The HANS is attached to the helmet by aligning the tether hardware to the helmet hardware, pushing in and sliding the tether rearward. To release, realign slots on tether hardware to flats on helmet hardware and slide forward.

The Hans Quick Click system is quickly gaining popularity by allowing the driver to quickly detach the head and neck restraint from the helmet by pulling on the orange tethers. To attach the HANS to the helmet anchors, open anchor by pulling orange release strap, slide tether loop over the hasp and close.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New NecksGen Head and Neck Restraint Sizes

NecksGen has just introduced additional sizing of their popular head and neck restraints for race car drivers.
The NecksGen Youth model head and neck restraint is built specifically for drivers who are under 5 foot tall and 100 pounds. The NecksGen Youth model only accepts 2 inch wide shoulder harnesses, making it ideal for Junior Dragsters, Quarter Midgets, Bandeleros and other similiar race vehicles.
The NecksGen Medium model head and neck restraint is ideal for race drivers who are 5 foot to 5 foot 6 inches and over 100 pounds. The NecksGen Medium model accepts 2 inch or 3 inch shoulder harnesses.
Of course, the NecksGen Adult model will fit almost all drivers who over 5 foot 6 inches and weigh over 100 pounds.

Friday, February 8, 2013

24 Hours of Lemons Required Safety Gear

Simplified, unofficial and no affiliation with the race organizers.

If you don't have the proper equipment, they will NOT let you race.

- Can't go wrong with a real aluminum race seat from Kirkey, Ultra Shield, Butler Built, Joie of Seating, etc. Got a Sparco race seat (not street car seat from Fast and Furious 4!), just as good. Make sure you don't have a plastic or similiar seat, it will quickly fail inspection. Check the rulebook for mounting instructions and guidelines.

- SA2005, SA2010, SAH2010 or FIA 8860-2000. Full face helmets only, no open face helmets. If the sticker on the lower back of the helmet or a tag inside does not display the previous designations, you cannot use it.

- Foam neck collars are OK, but they must have an SFI tag attached to them. Of course, a HANS Device, NecksGen, DefeNder, Hybrid Pro Rage or any other SFI 38.1 approved Head and Neck Restraint is the preferred recommendation and may just keep you out of the ambulance.

Seat Belts
- SFI or FIA approved and cannot be more than 5 years old. 5 or 6 point harness systems only!
- Grade 8 mounting hardware and check the rulebook for complete rulebook compliance.

Driving Suits
- SFI 3.2A/5 or multi-layer race suits are perfect. Still suggesting the use fire resistant underwear for added protection.
- SFI 3.2A/1 or single layer race suits are accepted if SFI or FIA tagged fire retardent tops and bottoms are used underneath the driving suit.

- Must have an SFI or FIA tag. Nothing else is accepted.

- Same as gloves, must have an SFI or FIA approval and tag.

- Don't forget these, must be constructed from Nomex, Carbon-X or similiar material.

Balaclava or Head Sock
- Suggested for everyone, but mandatory with long hair or a beard.