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Discussion Starter #1
Somebody explain this to me!

If I want to auto cross my Exige........ I need the stock seatbelts?

3.3.1 Driver Restraints
Seat lap belts are required in all cars, and must be installed in cars with
passive restraint systems that do not include a lap belt. Installation and
the use of shoulder belts or harnesses is strongly recommended, however
non-factory upper body restraints may only be used in open cars
,
cars with targa-tops in the open position, or cars with T-tops in the open
position when two conditions are met:
A. The roll structure must meet either the requirements of Appendix C
or the Club Racing General Competition Rules (GCR) 9.4.
B. The top of the roll structure may not be below the top of the driver’s
helmet when the driver is in the normal driving position.

So I cant use a 4 point harness................????????????? Am I reading this correct, you cant improve your safety..........??????????????? Or am I reading too far into this and mistaking upper body restraint for something like a Hoffman device???????????? Helmet I can understand, I figured a 4 point harness would be in order too.

Any or all criticism and advice accepted! Just bought an Exige and pondering autocross. Trying to figure out what safety equipment I will need but this perplexed me!

Bobby
 

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I have never heard of a car being disqualified for upgraded belts and restraints.
 

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Are they talking about arm restraints here? Whoever worded this should get a swift kick out the writing door as it's completely unclear. I believe what they are attempting to say (and failing) is:

factory belts are ok
Upgraded harnesses are ok
arm restraints are required in open cars

If they just said that, it would be pretty clear, but SCCA is very good at jumbling stuff together so that everyone just puzzles over it and asks for clarification. I would expect that in another section, it might talk about date coding for harnesses.......but I am not sure about whether it would only be for upper classes (prepared....street prepared) and open in lower classes (SS).
 

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Classic reason why I stayed away from SCCA
 

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The way I read it is that you may (and are recommended to) use shoulder harnesses, but if you have an open cockpit, you must meet the additional requirements in A and B to do so.

I ain't no lawyer, though…
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kind of reminds me of an ARMY regulation!

Thanks for everyone's input!
 

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4pt belts many do claim are dangerous! When I had 4pt belts in my old saab I had to yank them and go back to the stock 3pt belts, and that was simply at drivers schools.....

Best bet is to buy a 5pt belt for autocross or track time
 

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Let's start from the beginning, here:

These are the rules for SCCA "Solo", which is the current SCCA brand-name for "low-speed" autocrossing.

It has nothing whatever to do with arm restraints, nor date coding.


In "open cars" (for the purposes of this rule, this includes a topless Elise):

Factory belts are OK
Any lap belt is OK
You can not use aftermarket upper-body restraints such as a "Dick Strap" (Turner Belt) or upper part of a competition harness.

So, if you want to add upper-body straps to your Elise, keep your hardtop on.

When I had my Caterham, I interpreted this rule to allow aftermarket three-points on the factory mounts, but I know that I was on seriously shaky ground.

You can run with only a lap belt, and they apparently don't care where you get it, so Pep Boys 2" or Simpson 3" is OK.

When I had a Miata, I would put on the factory 3-point first, then cover it with a latch-line 3" I formerly used in my Europa.

With the Elise, I use the factory 3-point belts with a SeatSnug, which has been approved for such use by SCCA, same as a CG-Lock.

The purpose of the rule is to allow you to duck to the right if your convertible rolls over. Keeping a seatbelt buckled across the passenger seat would give you something to hang on to.

BTW, if you use a 4-point in your Elise coupe, you would have to make sure the lap-belt mounts are far enough forward to keep the belt over your pelvis irrespective of the pulling up by the shoulder straps. It's probably still a bad idea, and would be less safe than a factory harness and a Seat Snug. 5- or 6-point in an Elise coupe, you are legal.

Further guidance in Stock Category:

J. Driver restraints as outlined in Section 3.3.1 are allowed. Seats may
not be cut to allow for the installation of alternate seat belts or harnesses.
Passive restraint systems may not be removed. A horizontal
“harness bar” may be used as part of the installation hardware for
allowed driver restraints provided it has no more than two attachment
points to the chassis and is bolted at those locations. A ‘C’-type
harness bar may also be used. It may have four bolted attachment
points to the chassis (two primary, and two supporting connections to
resist rotation). Truss-type harness bars are not allowed.

These rules hold all the way through Street Prepared.

When you get to Prepared:

B. At a minimum all vehicles will be equipped with driver restraints
meeting Solo® Safety requirements. It is highly recommended that
all cars with roll bars/roll cages be equipped with driver restraints
meeting the requirements of the GCR [General Competition Rules, the road-racing rule book].


Are they talking about arm restraints here? Whoever worded this should get a swift kick out the writing door as it's completely unclear. I believe what they are attempting to say (and failing) is:

factory belts are ok
Upgraded harnesses are ok
arm restraints are required in open cars

If they just said that, it would be pretty clear, but SCCA is very good at jumbling stuff together so that everyone just puzzles over it and asks for clarification. I would expect that in another section, it might talk about date coding for harnesses.......but I am not sure about whether it would only be for upper classes (prepared....street prepared) and open in lower classes (SS).
 

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At my local events I run a Sector 111 harness bar with the Schroth 4pt harness. I have never had any problems with anyone questioning what I am running with. The shoulder straps run to the harness bar and the lap belts mount to the seat frame in the stock locations.
 

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No.

You can use any harness. It says you must use a harness or stock belt. It then says that IF you run an open car, AND you want to use an upper body harness... you must meet the following conditions...which are simply a qualified rollbar and your head passes the broomstick test.

The Exige/Elise both have a good rollbar that should pass Appendix C requirements. So unless you are so tall that your helmet sticks out of the top, you can use a harness.

It neither that draconian or complicated. Basically if you are very tall or run an open car without a rollbar, you can't use anything that will hold your body upright and restrained should you roll over. Makes sense.

Somebody explain this to me!

If I want to auto cross my Exige........ I need the stock seatbelts?

3.3.1 Driver Restraints
Seat lap belts are required in all cars, and must be installed in cars with
passive restraint systems that do not include a lap belt. Installation and
the use of shoulder belts or harnesses is strongly recommended, however
non-factory upper body restraints may only be used in open cars
,
cars with targa-tops in the open position, or cars with T-tops in the open
position when two conditions are met:
A. The roll structure must meet either the requirements of Appendix C
or the Club Racing General Competition Rules (GCR) 9.4.
B. The top of the roll structure may not be below the top of the driver’s
helmet when the driver is in the normal driving position.

So I cant use a 4 point harness................????????????? Am I reading this correct, you cant improve your safety..........??????????????? Or am I reading too far into this and mistaking upper body restraint for something like a Hoffman device???????????? Helmet I can understand, I figured a 4 point harness would be in order too.

Any or all criticism and advice accepted! Just bought an Exige and pondering autocross. Trying to figure out what safety equipment I will need but this perplexed me!

Bobby
 

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The intent of the rule is to keep people with cars without factory roll support (like an early miata) from putting in a 5 point belt, and then rolling the car and being crushed because there is nothing between them and the ground, and unlike a 3-point normal seat belt, you cannot crouch or bend over. This is also why it is highly frowned against (and maybe banned now in some HPDE's) wearing a full 5 or 6 point harness without a cage at least a roll bar. If you do in face roll the car, it can end ugly.


The Elise and Exige have a steel roll bar under the fiberglass bodywork with supports back to the subframe.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is why I love forums so much! Thank you for all the very informative feedback.
 

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I don't know if the Elise roll bar passes Appendix C. A comparison of Lotus specs and the rule book is in order for that. I don't know where the Elise bar has fore-and-aft triangulation.

Fact is, rollover protection is better with a hardtop. Not for the top itself as much as the top's assistance in supporting the windshield hoop.

Because I don't enjoy sitting in rain or sun, and since a topless Elise looks like somebody took a chainsaw to a perfectly-good coupe, I'm leaving mine on. Even if it IS more difficult getting out of the car in the trailer.
 

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I have some background with Appendix C, launching a successful protest at a national event hinging on that. I also tend to work tech and I would not have a problem with the design of the Elise rollbar. IMO

100% disagree on the styling of the Elise without the top.
 
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