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Race car safety


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#1 David M. Kane

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 00:34

In what years were certain safety features introduced to racing? For example, I first recalled seeing small and thin roll hoops introduced in the early 1960s. Later seat belts came on the scene. In I970 believe Bell introduced the full face helmet with Dan Gurney. When were fire systems bought onto the scene?

I looking for the major safety milestones and the events that might have prompted them.

Thanks! :up:

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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 05:39

Most of those were used in US oval racing long before they came to Europe, so there are really going to be at least two answers to everything

Others tended to come in gradually - one driver or team would use it, others would follow suit and then, in same cases, it would be incorporated into the rule-book

The only one I'm fairly sure about is the mandatory use of roll-hoops in F1 from1961

#3 D-Type

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 06:44

A starting point would be David Tremayne's book The science of safety but it focuses more on developments at circuits such as Armco barriers.

#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:05

We've covered some of these before. We concluded that Dan Gurney was the first driver to wear a full-face helmet in top-level racing, at the 1968 Indy 500, but they'd been used earlier in more minor categories:

Full-face helmets

The first use of safety harness is less clear. Jackie Stewart was apparently the first to use one in F1, at the 1967 German GP, but they'd been used in other categories well before this:

Seat Belts

Safety, belts and Michael Henderson's part...

Here's a list of some other threads covering various safety aspects:

http://forums.autosp.....hlite=+safety

In particular, this one covers safety developments in F1:

The development of safety in F1

#5 sbrinley

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 20:36

We've covered some of these before. We concluded that Dan Gurney was the first driver to wear a full-face helmet in top-level racing, at the 1968 Indy 500, but they'd been used earlier in more minor categories:

Full-face helmets

The first use of safety harness is less clear. Jackie Stewart was apparently the first to use one in F1, at the 1967 German GP, but they'd been used in other categories well before this:

Seat Belts

Safety, belts and Michael Henderson's part...

Here's a list of some other threads covering various safety aspects:

http://forums.autosp.....hlite=+safety

In particular, this one covers safety developments in F1:

The development of safety in F1

While I can't comment on FI, by 1959, roll bars and seat belts were required for all cars in SCCA races. Our Team Roosevelt Abarths all had the roll bars anchored securely to the floor and had aircraft-style fabric belts with the buckle of the kind found on passenger planes. After a nasty accident in which a car caught fire and the fabric fused to the buckle so the driver couldn't get out, seat belts had to have metal-to-metal fasteners. Our crew chief raided surplus stores getting seat belts with the required buckles.

#6 David M. Kane

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 18:29

Any idea when on-board extinguisher systems were introduced to British auto racing.

#7 oldtransamdriver

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:52

I remember that for SCCA Trans-Am racing beginning in 1968, I needed a fuel cell for the car and a Nomex single layer driver suit with Nomex underwear (which I have saved for some reason - not a chance of it fitting now).

Full roll cages were mandated starting in 68.

Robert Barg

Edited by oldtransamdriver, 31 October 2012 - 15:03.


#8 tsrwright

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:03

From the RAC Competition Committee Minutes:

1.7.37 "Compulsory safety helmets. A letter from the JCC was read suggesting that the use of safety helmets in all speed events should be made compulsory. The Committee decided to hear the views of the BRDC on the matter before taking any action.

5.8.37 "Safety Helmets. A letter from the B... R... D... C... was read regarding the compulsory use of safety helmets in speed events. It was agreed that the RAC delegates should bring the matter forward for discussion at the next meeting of the CSI"

9.12.37 "Compulsory Use of Goggles. A letter from B... A... R... C... was read suggesting that a new General Competition Rule should be adopted making the use of goggles or other forms of eye protection compulsory in motor races. It was decided to consult the BRDC as to the desirability of such a rule and also to give notice of a motion ... at the next meeting of the CSI."

2.3.38 "A reply to the letter from the Club to the BRDC on the subject of the compulsory use of goggles in motor races was read. It was decided to take no further action in the matter."

Then I believe nothing until:

27.9.50, "Provided it was internationally agreed the RAC Delegates [to CSI] would support the compulsory wearing of crash helmets"

26.10.50 "CSI had agreed... made compulsory from 1952 onwards"

#9 David M. Kane

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:08

Thanks guys!