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Do you use a HANS device at track days?


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Discussion Starter #1
Like the title says... thinking about getting into track days more seriously and sometimes this can be one scary car!
 

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DefNder. Feel naked without it.
 

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No, but not for long.........cheap insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Do you guys feel a six-point harness is also necessary or are the stock seat belts okay? I don't intend to ever do wheel-to-wheel racing.
 

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I have HANS (for which you need racing harnesses - stock belts won't work with it).

Stock belts are okay for track days, just not the best. It's all about levels of risk - even on a track day you can get into a serious crash. Also, strange as it may seem, harnesses improve your lap times :) Being planted in your seat reduces unwanted slippage in the seat which improves confidence and feel. This in turn improves lap times.

Thanks!

S.
 

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I guess "track days" is a bit ambiguous... a track day for me means either a Lotus Challenge Series event, or an advanced HPDE... either way I'm in a 6pt harness, fire suit, helmet and HANS.
 

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if you can understand the the physics involed in any incident are the same, regardless of its it happens during a W2W race, or "just a track day(HPDE), you will then realize that being on track without a H+N restraint of some type(not the foam neck ring I see some guys say "does the same thing"), is foolish at best.
I have been in one wreck where i felt the tethers get tight on my HANS device, and swear by the product.
I also know of 2 freinds who have both been in large impacts and say that w/o thier H+N restraint, they would either be dead, or left in a phsyical condition where they wished they were dead.

tracking/racing is an amazing hobby, just respect what you are doing, and dont skimp on the safety gear.

if you can afford any mods to your car, then you cannot say "I cant afford a H+N restraint".
get the safety gear first, then all the go fast wizzy parts for the car second.
 

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I use the DefNer and have been very happy with it along with Schroth Profi II 6H belts and the Sector 111 SYS.6.Pak
 

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I never drive on the track without one. Never.
 

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One thing to remember is that, since the Elige is a road car, we have an air bag. Head and neck restraints work extremely well in certain circumstances and not as well in other situations. If you run through the likelyhood of accident type and the resulting injuries in driving events of various sorts you could rank the safety measures acceptable to you and the managing organization.

For example, I raced in SCCA in a showroom stock class and one car I drove, a VW GTI, had a ten gallon gas tank made of plastic. Many drivers in the cheaper, I mean less expensive, classes ran a Nomex suit and underwear, two or three layers. Of course the Formula Atlantic guys, with a seven gallon fuel cell in a monocoque tub wore three layer suits and undies. Which fuel system would you say would most likely be compromised?

The need for a Hans, IMHO, is much less than having a great set of belts first, and probably less than the need of having a flame retardant suit. The severity, frequency and angle of impact, the type of belts used, etc. would all make a head and neck restraint more or less effective. An airbag would have a range of effectiveness as well. IMHO $500-600 would be better invested in a fire retardant suit and accessories more so than in a head and neck restraint. Use as much safety equipment as you are required to have and wish to use.

I asked this before a year or so ago: Would you drive on the track with a 1950s, 60s, etc. level of protection? A track day has risks whatever the level of equipment you employ. How much of a risk will you take?

I drive in a polo shirt and slacks/jeans with six-point belts, helmet and hand-held fire extinguisher. Risky? Yes. I would choose to drive, rather than not, even if I had to do without seat belts. (Where is my mid-sixties GP car? I parked it here somewhere.) The next level of protection I would invest in would be a fire resistant suit, gloves, socks, etc. before additional restraints.

My intent isn't to flame safety advocates, but just to point out that there are varying levels of acceptable risk. I've ridden and raced motorcycles and wouldn't do without a helmet, boots, gloves, and a jacket. When I rode on the road in jeans, rather than in leathers, I knew it was risky and it made me very uncomfortable. But, even in full race leathers you can be squashed by a vehicle on the road or track. The risks are there. Do you take them?
 

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I have been doing high speed DE events for four years. The first one I went to three cars were totalled. About half the DE events I go to (about 25 a year) have cars that seem to find the wall or armco with enough force to do very serious damage.
After seeing the level of damage done at my first DE event with three people going to the hospital as well as the DE instructor talking in graphic detail about the types of neck and spine injury from hard side and front crashes, I went out and bought a HANS device right away. I already had a five point harness (reinforced through the floor) and fire extinguisher in the car.
I tell every new DE driver your first mod is a 5 or 6 point harness, full face helmet and a HANS device. I also wear a full nomex suit (3 layer) and gloves, shoes, etc.
There are only two types of drivers on the track, those that have wrecked their car and those who will.
Be safe!
 

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I completely agree with getting a H&N restraint if you are going to the track whether it is racing or HPDE. I personally wouldn't go on track without a suit, helmet, harness, and H&N device. However, if you still want to do it without the harness and use the stock seat belts you still don't have any excuse not to use a H&N restraint. Safety Solutions makes a SFI approved H&N restraint that works regardless of whether or not you have a harness. It is called the R3 device. I don't have any affiliation with them other than being a happy customer.

Safety Solutions - Racing Seatbelts| Safety Restraint | Auto Harness
Safety Solutions - SFI Race| Head Restraint| Neck Brace| R3 Restraint
 

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One thing to remember is that, since the Elige is a road car, we have an air bag. Head and neck restraints work extremely well in certain circumstances and not as well in other situations. If you run through the likelyhood of accident type and the resulting injuries in driving events of various sorts you could rank the safety measures acceptable to you and the managing organization.

For example, I raced in SCCA in a showroom stock class and one car I drove, a VW GTI, had a ten gallon gas tank made of plastic. Many drivers in the cheaper, I mean less expensive, classes ran a Nomex suit and underwear, two or three layers. Of course the Formula Atlantic guys, with a seven gallon fuel cell in a monocoque tub wore three layer suits and undies. Which fuel system would you say would most likely be compromised?

The need for a Hans, IMHO, is much less than having a great set of belts first, and probably less than the need of having a flame retardant suit. The severity, frequency and angle of impact, the type of belts used, etc. would all make a head and neck restraint more or less effective. An airbag would have a range of effectiveness as well. IMHO $500-600 would be better invested in a fire retardant suit and accessories more so than in a head and neck restraint. Use as much safety equipment as you are required to have and wish to use.

I asked this before a year or so ago: Would you drive on the track with a 1950s, 60s, etc. level of protection? A track day has risks whatever the level of equipment you employ. How much of a risk will you take?

I drive in a polo shirt and slacks/jeans with six-point belts, helmet and hand-held fire extinguisher. Risky? Yes. I would choose to drive, rather than not, even if I had to do without seat belts. (Where is my mid-sixties GP car? I parked it here somewhere.) The next level of protection I would invest in would be a fire resistant suit, gloves, socks, etc. before additional restraints.

My intent isn't to flame safety advocates, but just to point out that there are varying levels of acceptable risk. I've ridden and raced motorcycles and wouldn't do without a helmet, boots, gloves, and a jacket. When I rode on the road in jeans, rather than in leathers, I knew it was risky and it made me very uncomfortable. But, even in full race leathers you can be squashed by a vehicle on the road or track. The risks are there. Do you take them?
i have 3 questions for you.

1) have you ever personally used a H+N restarint in a wreck?

2) have you ever had a 1st hand encounter with someone who has been in a wreck where the device was used and helped them?

3) do you personally know anyone who has had a traumatic neck injury that has been life changing?

unfortunately i can answer YES to all three above, and it is why i feel that a H+N device is not something used in addition to a harness, but something used in conjuction with a harness, sort of like the buckles/strap on a helmet.

you need both to do the job properly, and with things like this sometimes you only have one chance to do it right.

yes i agree that we all accept a level of risk in our comfort zone, but after the fact i bet that $800 for a H+N device would look like a bargain compared to the injuries that they can prevent.
 

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Fishguy,

1. No, but I have been in a few.

2. No.

3. No.

I think it should be said that the likelyhood of having an accident in an Elige with an airbag at a track day and having a H+N make the difference between injury or not is a low probability. You have to have the accident, it has to be of a particular severity, you have to have the accident at a particular angle to have the airbag/H+N come into play, and you have to have the impact and angle repeated so the H+N is available and the airbag isn't. I think the risk of having a fire related injury is greater, so a fire suit is the next best investment, but that is just my estimation.

I use motorcycle racing as an example because I only raced SCCA for four years (before H+N BTW): you can break your neck or spine, it is unlikely, but it happens every year to someone. You can use all the safety gear available, but if you get run over by another competitor for example, it can happen. I would take an Elige to a track day with just a helmet and stock belts. It is a risk. It is a risk without having a full cage. You could spin and another car could climb over the front of our low cars; not pretty. Do you take to the track without every safety device? It is a calculated risk.
 

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I'm personally attempting to recover from a broken back. (not an on track event)

Believe me you want to take of your body. You are only given one and if you F it up you'll be suffering for the rest of your life - and that's presuming you have a rest of your life.

I don't yet wear a driving suit - but I know I should be doing so.

Stay Safe Guys ... Sadly I just learned I won't be back on track as soon as I thought :(
 

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Wondering who here has / is using an R3?



I'm leaning towards this one as I will be instructing again this year and many students do not have harnesses. Since the HANS and DeFender (as I understand it) rely on harnesses to be effective. I'm not really interested in spending $500+ on a HNR to only get to use it 50% of the time I'm out on track.
 

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I have the R3 Pro and used it in my Elise at the track as well as when I ride as a passenger. I no longer track my Elise as I now race a Formula 600. I do use my R3 in the F600 and had my bead seat cast with me wearing it. Once snuggled into the F600, I don't really even notice it. The pad that comes with it does work pretty good in stock car seats. It a hard seat like the Elise/Exige you will notice it a little bit, but I did not find it uncomfortable. In a seat that is a little more plush the pad makes it very comfortable.
 

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Wondering who here has / is using an R3?



I'm leaning towards this one as I will be instructing again this year and many students do not have harnesses. Since the HANS and DeFender (as I understand it) rely on harnesses to be effective. I'm not really interested in spending $500+ on a HNR to only get to use it 50% of the time I'm out on track.
I have used the carbon fiber R3 for 2 years and like it. The only thing is that the R3 backbone and pad push you forward in your seat, so that the seat sides are not securing the driver as well. if one gets into an accident with the R3 without a harness, I suppose it is better than nothing, but the shoulder harness do go over and push the backbone wings down. Without the push down, there will be more head movement.

Mark
 
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