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Old 10-27-2017, 10:23 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

The problem with the roll bar or cage decision is that in actual fact, we have very little evidence to go by other than anecdotal evidence. Kelly feels anecdotally that having a harness would have left him with more injury following his roll over. OTOH, anecdotally Dale Earnhardt died likely because he didn't have a head and neck restraint system in a collision without a roll over. Therefore, I would like folks to "state their sources" before claiming one situation is better than the other.

As for Barry's comment that hitting a wall sideways would be safer with OEM 3 points vs a 5 point, I am not so sure. A containment seat would obviously be the only protection here but I don't see the OEM 3 points being better than the 5 points.

Another issue re the rollover protection claim of 3 point OEM belts is that if the car rolls to the left, the driver is pitched to the right and potentially out of the way. OTOH, if the car rolls to the right, the driver is pitched to the left and is just as vulnerable to crush injury as any 5 point system. No one is strong enough to resist the G forces involved and keep themselves away from the left side of the car in a right roll over.

So the concern I have is that we are IMO, not consistent. Any car with just a roll hoop is considered safe enough to use a head and neck restraint system no matter how strong the A pillar is, again, I think without empiric evidence. Meanwhile cars that have pretty good built in roll protection are not allowed to use the 5 point required for a head and neck restraint.

Therefore if roll over is the rules committee biggest concern, I would think only cars with full cages should be allowed to use 5+ point harnesses. OTOH, I think most of us would agree that high speed impacts that do not involve rollovers are more common. The way the optics of the rules look now, we seem to be actively discouraging the use of head and neck restraints in cars that may actually have pretty sound structure.

Just to make it more complicated, I think all of us would agree that a harness is significantly performance enhancing yet we don't PIP it because it is considered a safety device. Unfortunately a safety device that is not easily available to all.
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:08 AM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by 13inches View Post
What's the premise for 6) ? It seems unduly harsh and unless undeclared mods are becoming a rampant problem, and/or you have an effective method of enforcement, what is it going to solve?
Undeclared mods are happening but the problem isn't what I would call rampant. Our change from a 5PI wide class with equal PAX to an iPAX a couple of years ago (Individual PAX system) means that even a small amount of undeclared modification can result in a different championship finishing position. This is really just one rule catching up to match others.

It's not as automatically harsh as the current/past rule which is an automatic bump to MOD1 for the event no matter what class you started in. That is what WAS in place for the last decade or more, but only if you had enough unclaimed PIP's that you should be bumped to the next class. We never updated that for the iPAX system because we missed it and protests are so rare in OTA that it went several years without being noticed. Undeclared PIP penalties right now that aren't enough to bump you a class are handled by guidelines in the GCR's which, lets be honest, most competitors DON'T read.

This proposed change would put a GUIDELINE in place for the penalty in our own rulebook which the stewards could use to guide their penalty decision. Multiple offenses or clear efforts to hide an undeclared mod may still result in a bump to MOD1 or exclusion from the results. This change would establish a starting point for stewards discussion.
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:44 AM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by Carguy View Post
The rest of the proposals look very reasonable to me.

Concerning head and neck restraints without roll-over protection some 4-point belt systems, notably the Schroth Profi with ASM, can be installed using the rear seat belt anchors (provided the strap angles are within the manufacturer's limits) and are compatible with the HANS device. The way #9 is worded doesn't include 4 point belts. Maybe another proposed rule?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Time Attack Rules
1.1.3.3. Four Point belts must meet FMVSS209 or ECER16.04 standards, be approved by the manufacturer for the vehicle, and have an integrated Anti-Submarining Mechanism from the manufacturer. Note that some “Tuner” belts do not meet these standards. Burden of proof for validity and correct installation is on the driver of the car.
Our rules already allow the use of FMVSS 209 compliant four points, but those belts are not approved by the belt manufacturer for use in all vehicles. You will specifically notice the absence of Corvettes and BRZ/FRS vehicles from Schroth's approved list which are two very popular vehicles in our series.

From the Schroth Profi ASM documentation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schroth
"WARNING: This product is not designed and tested to be used with HANS® or other head and neck restraints e.g. Hutchens device. Shoulder belts may slip off the HANS® and crotch straps e.g. of a Hutchens device cannot be properly attached to the lap belt. Malfunction can result in serious personal injuries or death."
https://www.schrothracing.com/docs/F...List-Print.pdf

This rule is definitely a different philosophy in use by other established organisations. Philosophically I suppose that my views rank somewhat as a libertarian; give the individual the right to make their own choices. I believe that if there is a safety device out there that can provide greater reduction in injury in the most frequent type of collision we see in OTA, our ruleset should be open to including it. The fact that James Mewett (aerospace engineer, former CCC chair, and long time competitor and instructor) and Dave Barker, (medical doctor familiar with sports injury and the risks of motorsport, current CCC chair, long time competitor) are two of the proponents of this change have helped sway me to the side of having this discussion.

I compete in a car with a six+ point cage, I have six point belts and seats with wings, I have a Simpson Rage Pro FHR, so this rule decision is to help and/or affect others, not for me. Would a special waiver and counselling from a scrutineer cover our obligation in this regard?

In the end, we are a division of CASC-OR which has a safety committee that advises on these matters. I'll invite George McCullough to attend our meeting so that he can hear both sides of the story rather than my re-iterated versions.
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Last edited by Slowpoke; 10-28-2017 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:58 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by Slowpoke View Post
Philosophically I suppose that my views rank somewhat as a libertarian
With respect, one must be very careful with libertarian views when it comes to safety issues like these. It's a slippery slope. You may have foolish individuals wanting to compete with no seatbelts or helmets! (An extreme example to make a point). I have been around long enough to remember the resistance to the seatbelt laws on the highways, and when I worked in motor vehicle accident reconstruction, the tragic loss of life as a result of the lack of use of seatbelts in a crash. Sometimes the powers that be have to exercise a little authority for the betterment of all. But I digress...

Stephen I think including George McCullogh in these discussions is a must.
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Old 10-28-2017, 02:55 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by 10gt61 View Post
Agree with this. When I went wrong side up with no cage & OEM 3-point, the vehicle structure (A pillars & B pillars) held up well (2010 Mustang), but it was tight. There was some intrusion in the centre roof & windshield areas. I needed the flexibility to move within the car. If the rollover had of been more severe (ie multiple roll or hard impact roll), there would likely have been even more intrusion into the occupant space that needed to be avoided.

To be held upright in place by a 5-point and HANS definitely requires a cage to support the roof in a rollover IMHO.
Being one of the few witnesses to Kelly's incident I feel the need to comment here.
Kelly, I'm pretty sure your injuries were a result of the initial impact with the tire wall and not the subsequent slow speed rollover off of the tire wall. Would you not agree with this?
This would corroborate with the suggestion being put forth by Dave, in that if you had been wearing a 5 point restraint your injuries would have been minimal, it was just bad luck that your car got high enough on the tire wall to fall off to the side once the forward motion had stopped.
Again not all incidents are the same but in my years at OTA there have been many more frontal and/or side impacts than rollovers so that would suggest that enhanced seat restraints would be a benefit in the majority of cases.
Of course, nothing in life is 100% certain, just wanted to throw out some more info to add to this discussion.
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  #21  
Old 10-28-2017, 04:20 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

The rules have to apply to all cars or be modified to specific cars.

Under the proposal being suggested I could bring a older Honda, Nissan etc no cage, harness bar, harnesses and meet the proposal.
Who believes this is safe?

comparison to lapping day rules is not the same.

Rule sets from NASA, SCCA for Time Trials are the only accurate comparison.

My stand on this subject, and availale options:
No roll bar, OE belts only or DOT harness
You may install a non halo seat

Roll bar, all current options
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Old 10-28-2017, 05:59 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by racecartech View Post
comparison to lapping day rules is not the same.

Rule sets from NASA, SCCA for Time Trials are the only accurate comparison.

My stand on this subject, and availale options:
No roll bar, OE belts only or DOT harness
You may install a non halo seat

Roll bar, all current options
Actually Scott, I believe NASA TT has passing during competition, something we have repeatedly avoided. Car to Car contact risk has to be much higher. I think our rules are much closer to HPDE than NASA TT (Haven't looked into the SCCA)

On the other side of the coin, if harnesses are not safe in cars with pretty good structure, why do we allow them in convertibles with just a roll bar? My concern is that our rules are not consistent. Either allow drivers to make their own choices or mandate the toughest standards equivalent to race for use of a harness. I don't see Spec Miatas with just a bar.

Your concern re use of harnesses in old cars is perfectly valid but could be dealt with by the scrutineer. OTOH, telling someone that they cannot use a known safety device (head and neck restraint) because "we know better" sure needs some data to be substantiated particularly given what I see as the inconsistency of our rules. Not really sure which is the riskier approach.
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Old 10-28-2017, 08:49 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by 10gt61 View Post
With respect, one must be very careful with libertarian views when it comes to safety issues like these. It's a slippery slope. You may have foolish individuals wanting to compete with no seatbelts or helmets! (An extreme example to make a point). I have been around long enough to remember the resistance to the seatbelt laws on the highways, and when I worked in motor vehicle accident reconstruction, the tragic loss of life as a result of the lack of use of seatbelts in a crash.
There is no equivalency between experienced instructors understanding the frequency of track incidents and then wanting to spend more money on a FHR and harness because they believe it will increase their chance of survival / reduce injury in an incident and people who don't want to wear seatbelts.

Our rollbar and harness rules were written before the adoption of HANS and FHR's. We require competitors to wear helmets for their safety because that helmet reduces their risk of head injury. At the same time, that rule is increasing their risk of Basilar skull fractures in the event of a frontal collision. Now that there is a known way to reduce the likelihood or severity of Basilar skull fractures and our rules stand in the way of the competitor mitigating a type of risk, we should discuss that.

If you perceive this to be an issue of lack of authority, you are looking at this the wrong way. It is simply time to reassess safety and risk and whether this specific choice should be made for the competitors or by the individual.
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:42 AM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

I know for my first couple of seasons, I had no idea of the dangers of various harness types, not running HANS etc. A lot of entrants do not understand these things, that's why the non DOT 4pts are banned for example and not in the "Well, if it makes you feel safer..." category. OTA is an entry level sport in terms of on track competition, you can't expect competitors to have the knowledge to make the best decisions on their safety gear.

I think mandating HANS for running a 5/6pt is a very sensible proposal first of all, and shouldn't wait for 2019. The risks of serious injury with multipoint harness and no HANS in even moderate frontal impacts are way high.

For the rest, I just don't see who can possibly be qualified to say "this car's structure is good enough to not worry about roof collapse, this one is not". No scrutineer can be expected to deliver that verdict.

Lastly, car structure does not matter in terms of preventing basular skull fracture in side impacts (the likes of which are very possible in solo competition), neither does HANS. Your only mitigation there is suitable containment seat and/or nets, or stock 3 pts that allow the body to move (and, if you're lucky, the side airbags that your car has).

For anecdote, I can supply a link via PM to a thread discussing a fatality at Summit Point last year. Cliff notes: Caged E46 M3, side impact on passenger side, 5 pts, HANS, no containment seat. Passenger actually survived with minor injuries, driver died on site from BSF. This was an HDPE with, by all accounts, driver experienced with competition,
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:28 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by Saj5DJ View Post
I think mandating HANS for running a 5/6pt is a very sensible proposal first of all, and shouldn't wait for 2019. The risks of serious injury with multipoint harness and no HANS in even moderate frontal impacts are way high.

Lastly, car structure does not matter in terms of preventing basular skull fracture in side impacts (the likes of which are very possible in solo competition), neither does HANS. Your only mitigation there is suitable containment seat and/or nets, or stock 3 pts that allow the body to move (and, if you're lucky, the side airbags that your car has).

For anecdote, I can supply a link via PM to a thread discussing a fatality at Summit Point last year. Cliff notes: Caged E46 M3, side impact on passenger side, 5 pts, HANS, no containment seat. Passenger actually survived with minor injuries, driver died on site from BSF. This was an HDPE with, by all accounts, driver experienced with competition,
I think the whole issue revolves around relative risk as all motorsports carry risk. Even F1 drivers can die in competition despite the best safety devices in the racing world

I think most everyone agrees that a frontal impact is more likely than a roll over (at least for my type of car). I perceive my relative risk to be higher for an occipital bone fracture in a frontal impact than cervical spine injuries received with the use of a harness and a roll to the left. My relative risk could be mitigated by the use of a head and neck restraint. NO it does not prevent me from all injuries but to me, is an improvement in risk over the rules we have now. It is possible that the OEM airbags would save me from this but they are generally not designed for such high speed impacts. After all people still die in cars with airbags. (Just to make things more complicated, we allow the removal of airbags!!)

I think we are in agreement that using a 5+ point harness and no head and neck restraint is likely MORE dangerous than a 3 point (something that up until now we have ignored) . As for your anecdotal report re the BMW, it can be also be seen that head and neck restraints don't prevent injuries in side impacts, at least those on the passenger side. It is a bit of a stretch to say the OEM belt alone vs the head and neck restraints are the better way to go from this one incident. One could easily argue that OEM belts allow a lot of sideways movement and therefore secondary impacts of the driver/passenger inside the struck vehicle which in many cases would lead to severe internal injurys although not basal skull fractures.

So my point is either we go full out, i.e to use a 5+ point requires a cage, head and neck restraint and a containment seat i.e strictly stiffen our requirements from present or we put the responsibility back on the competitor just like we do for brake work etc. There are examples of different groups going different ways with this decision.

Now just to add an addendum to this, most everyone agrees a harness is performance enhancing. If we go to a tougher more restrictive stance than we have now, we might want to PIP the use of a harness in general (as opposed to making it available to potentially everyone)

What do you think?
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:03 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

when are these proposed rule changes going to be set in stone so I can properly set my car for next year and make my tire decision.

I for one think if you are going to run a 5pt or 6pt harness with HANS then you should run some kind of roll over protection minimum 4 point roll bar its that simple.
Also ensuring proper mounting locations and proper hardware being used when installing the 5pt and 6pt harness's is just as important, as the belts are useless if not installed according to specification.

just my humble .2 cents

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Last edited by S1motorsports; 10-29-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:49 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

Very good discussions and well considered opinions offered here. The problem is that none of us has the required real data needed to make a decision. For that we need to approach international safety research bodies to get the best data available for decision making.

Personally I can't accept the idea of protecting against some incidents (ie. frontal impacts) and not others (roll overs) when both are real and probable outcomes of our sport. I therefore would support the "all in" option that best protects competitors from reasonably likely outcomes.

So to me that means A: (OEM specs with upgraded seats but use of 3 point harnesses) or B: (full cage/hans/5-6 harnesses/containment seats and window nets.) The dilemma of course is cost of the latter option which would significantly reduce the field size and render the series unsustainable.

We are grassroots for sure but that certainly does not mean that we should be unsafe. As has been stated, many newcomers don't really understand the risk exposure so we need to help them, but to protect against only a subset of likely outcomes isn't right either.

This is a tough one. Now that the discussion is public we need to resolve a position on behalf of all competitors and implement in 2018. Give us the strength to do so.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:27 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by Dave Barker View Post
Now just to add an addendum to this, most everyone agrees a harness is performance enhancing. If we go to a tougher more restrictive stance than we have now, we might want to PIP the use of a harness in general (as opposed to making it available to potentially everyone)

What do you think?
I think that's very silly. Maybe should pip your track duty pads too? Unless they're not performance enhancing?
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:37 PM
Grant Galloway Grant Galloway is offline
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

I know that after my incident at mosport I feel so much safer in the car than I did in previous years! Is there an advantage with a proper seat and harness? I would say yes!

Should it be a PIP (NO)

I spent well over $6500 for my cage, seats, harnesses, HANs and fire suppression system. Then another $500 on a new full face helmet!

My car is also a dedicated track track car, so doing this on a daily driver is a little different

Don't short yourself on safety!

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Old 10-29-2017, 04:50 PM
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

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Originally Posted by Dave Barker View Post
Also at this stage we allow 5+ point harnesses in old convertibles with roll bars where the descent of the A pillar is a lot MORE likely than in my car.

I would see either let the competitor decide what is the safest for him (we do let competitors declare if their car is safe with the safety check list) OR we only allow the use of a harness in a car with a full roll cage. Our present rules are quite inconsistent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwoody27 View Post
So to me that means A: (OEM specs with upgraded seats but use of 3 point harnesses) or B: (full cage/hans/5-6 harnesses/containment seats and window nets.) The dilemma of course is cost of the latter option which would significantly reduce the field size and render the series unsustainable.
To solve the dilemma I suggest the current rules remain as they are (as requirements for participation) and some guidelines be added to the rules (as recommendations only).

As Gary points out, requiring a full cage if you have a containment seat and 5/6 pt. harness would add significant cost to some competitors and may reduce participation.

Each competitor should be responsible for how much risk he or she is willing to take on. We already do so, in the amount of pre-competition inspection we perform on our cars, when we perform maintenance and how fast we are willing to push the car and ourselves.

The requirements would be the current rule set.

The recommendations would be:
  • if using a 5/6 pt. harness and containment seat then use of a Hans device is recommended
    1. for convertibles, a roll bar is required (as it is already)
    2. for convertibles, a full roll cage is recommended
    3. for convertibles, a "permanent" hard top (as per SCCA) is recommended
    4. for non-convertibles, either a roll bar or full cage are recommended

Or something similar to the above. The point of the recommendations is to make it explicit in the rule book for all competitors.
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