Perhaps one of the main attractions for those competing in Motorsport is the thrill and the potential for danger. Of course, nobody wants to get hurt but the freedom of being the controller of your own destiny at over 100mph is quite indescribable to those who have never experienced this.
An initial level of assurance for the safety of motorsport kit, including seats, is FIA approval. But there’s far more we can all do to ensure we’ve maximised safety in the event of an accident.
As with any ‘insurance policy’, you’ll only ever truly know the effectiveness of your seat when at that ultimate point of need. As every single human being is physically unique, and since we all come in different shapes and sizes, having a race seat that has been made to fit you as an individual will make you more effective as a driver and will minimise the risk of injury in any unfortunate accident.
Drivers need to be held tightly in their seat and the start of the seat-purchase journey should always be to choose a seat of the correct size. Here at Motordrive, we can then tailor the padding to suit your own body shape. Our lumbar back support cushioning for example, helps to protect the spine. We’ll also check at the fitting stage that your head doesn’t protrude the height of the seat and we can advise of the benefits of choosing a seat with ‘wings’ to give side head protection.
Of course, not everybody is lucky enough to own a track-only race car, which is why our popular ‘Pro Seat’ can be purchased with a FIA approved bolt-on headrest which can be removed when the car is returned to normal road use. This is also a popular choice for cars where there is restricted space.
Harnesses should sit straight across the shoulder, so our fitting service checks the positioning of the harness holes to ensure that the harness will work effectively with your Hans device.
But there’s more to seat safety than the design of the seat. The seat needs to be fixed and secured properly and the seat, mounting frame and harness, all need to work in unison to complete the most effective seat safety system.
In fact, the FIA take seat safety so seriously, they actually state “…officials can deny participation in a competition if the driver and/or co-driver are not seated in the correct position, through checking compliance with the FIA International Sporting Code under Appendix J (Articles 253.16.1.1 and 222.214.171.124)…”
By purchasing an FIA approved seat, tailored specifically for the driver or co-driver, and mounted correctly in the car along with the harness , a competitor can enjoy the thrill and freedom of their drive, knowing that the risk of danger has at least been appropriately considered in their choice of seat.
You can find the best practice guidelines for competitor installation here: bit.ly/competitorinstall #FIAVisionZero