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Discussion Starter #1
Just got this email from them:
NEW 4-pt. SEAT BELT RULES
Speed Ventures is no longer allowing drivers to run 4-pt. seat belts other than properly-installed Schroth 4-pt. belts with ASM (anti-submarine) technology. Factory/OEM 3-pt. belts are still allowed, as are 5 and 6 point harnesses. If you have any questions regarding your safety belts, please contact us.
 

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I guess fishguy spoke to them.

Makes sense, though.
No, i didnt speak to anyone, and I have never run with speedventures.

i just know at the clubs here, they will not allow you out on the track or past tech inspection with a 4 point belt. I dont even know if they allow the ASM 4 point for that matter in HPDE with NASA here either.

to me, the ASM seems like in a rollover that once the ASM gives slack, that the camlock could then do damage to ones midsection as there would now be some slack in the harness after the threads give away(multi impact situtation).
I am likely wrong, but just using common sense thinking.

I heard (through the grapevine)the gentleman killed in the mini at willow recently was wearing a four point belt, and i would think that this is likely a (good) response to that horrible tradgedy.

Good for speedventures for making this change for whatever reason :up:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm guessing it has to do with the Mini owner who recently was killed at Willow Springs where Speedventures does many events there. Here's something i copy & paste from another forum regarding the crash:

[quote author=speedform link=topic=60830.msg7366224#msg7366224 date=1211906574]
NASA has been trying to keep a tight lip on the incident but from the reports we got from the safety crew on sight, the MINI went air-born and rolled multiple times. The car did not have a rollbar but the driver was wearing a 4 point harness (the smaller 2" kind from what we heard). After that the details become sketchy. Some were saying that his seat collapsed (which if you saw the car could easily understand how that would have happened), that the driver was partially ejected and a few other items that are a little to gruesome to discuss here. Again, how much of this is true or just rumor I cannot say. I did see the car later that day and from some angles was nearly impossible to tell what it was. A truly horrific crash.
RIP Mr. Drey.
[/quote]
 

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It appears the MINI driver was killer because with the 4 pt Schroth belts rear stock attachment location was pushed forward when he landed on the hatch. The shoulder belts run quite long -- 3'-4'. Thus slack, thus ejection, thus...
 

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It appears the MINI driver was killer because with the 4 pt Schroth belts rear stock attachment location was pushed forward when he landed on the hatch. The shoulder belts run quite long -- 3'-4'. Thus slack, thus ejection, thus...
If that is the case, it is no wonder he partially ejected. Going down the paddock at a typical HPDE, you see many 4 or 6 point installations that look unsafe with these long seat belt runs coupled with stock style seats. The worst I saw was a modified EVO that attached the four point belts to the LATCH mounts which at the base of the rear seat. These mounts were designed for child seats, not adults.
 

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I'm guessing it has to do with the Mini owner who recently was killed at Willow Springs where Speedventures does many events there. Here's something i copy & paste from another forum regarding the crash:

[quote author=speedform link=topic=60830.msg7366224#msg7366224 date=1211906574]
NASA has been trying to keep a tight lip on the incident but from the reports we got from the safety crew on sight, the MINI went air-born and rolled multiple times. The car did not have a rollbar but the driver was wearing a 4 point harness (the smaller 2" kind from what we heard). After that the details become sketchy. Some were saying that his seat collapsed (which if you saw the car could easily understand how that would have happened), that the driver was partially ejected and a few other items that are a little to gruesome to discuss here. Again, how much of this is true or just rumor I cannot say. I did see the car later that day and from some angles was nearly impossible to tell what it was. A truly horrific crash.
RIP Mr. Drey.
For the record, his seat didn't collapse. I've seen pics and the seat is clearly visible and appears to be unscathed.
 

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If that is the case, it is no wonder he partially ejected. Going down the paddock at a typical HPDE, you see many 4 or 6 point installations that look unsafe with these long seat belt runs coupled with stock style seats. The worst I saw was a modified EVO that attached the four point belts to the LATCH mounts which at the base of the rear seat. These mounts were designed for child seats, not adults.
When you try to build a dual purpose street/track car what you end up with is the worst of both. Everything is compromised and nothing is optimized: not the engine, brakes, suspension, or safety.
I see the same type of safety issues as well. Crazy things like sub-straps wrapped from under the seat to over the front of the seat instead of the person modifying the seat to accept the belt. Do the words "anti-sub strap" not have meaning?
 

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When you try to build a dual purpose street/track car what you end up with is the worst of both.
exactly why i sold my elise in favor of a dedicated race car.
still no regrets, but quite the opposite.
this website had all the info i needed on it to make that decision before i found out the hard way.:up:

the price to make my elsie a proper race car in safety equipment alone was the cost for an entire different race prepped car with a good/strong class to run in.
my spec miata, and now the spec 944 were both less to aquire in fully race prepped form, than the cost to convert(and lessen the value) the elise.
both are not fragile in a hit, and will not depreciate.
something to think about for you "track rats" in you elise.
 

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...and that is why I have a Cup car to race in PBOC. It's cheap compared to most all other modern street based/touring factory race cars -- Porsche, BMW, Ferrari. If you can't afford to crash whatever you drive you probably have no business racing...
 

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...and that is why I have a Cup car to race in PBOC. It's cheap compared to most all other modern street based/touring factory race cars -- Porsche, BMW, Ferrari. If you can't afford to crash whatever you drive you probably have no business racing...
agreed,
the cup car is a great choice if you are going for a lotus that will be tracked.


also big +1 on the fact that if you cannot afford to total the car and walk away from it, then you shouldnt be on the track in the first place.

I guess thats why i sold the elise, and got the spec miata(now spec 944), and formula ford to race.

its not a matter of "if" one is going to crash on the track, its a matter of "when". if you are on the track and dont understand this, then you are fooling yourself. also its why i am a big proponent of having the right safety gear, even if you are "just doing HPDE".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Speedventures just updated their policies regarding 4 point harnesses:

Pending further review, we have revised our new 4-pt belt rules to
include any 4-pt harness. However, we are requiring all 4-pt belts to be
tech'd and approved at the track by Speed Ventures personnel. We do not
normally tech cars, but feel it is necessary to do so with regard to
4-pt belts. The reason for this modification is that we believe that an
improperly installed 4-pt. ASM belt could be more dangerous than a
properly-installed non-ASM belt. Cars that do not have proper
installations will not be allowed to run and may not receive refunds or credits.
Please call me to discuss your 4-pt. belt installation before signing
up for an event. In the future we may return to the prior guidelines
and not allow non-ASM 4-pt. belts, so please do not purchase new 4-pt.
belts that are not ASM if at all possible"




I sent a question to Speedventures regarding the existing harness setup in my car and here's their response. I know the harness setup in my car is not the same as the Lotus, but some of you might have similar setup in your other cars:

Question from me:
Hi,
Attached are some pics of my Mitsubishi Evo with 2” Sparco Camlock harnesses. The shoulder straps are bolted onto the OEM belt bolt for the rear seat belts. The lap belts are bolted onto the OEM belt bolt locations for the front seats. Please let me know if this setup is ok:






Below is Speedventure's response to my question:
The setup you have on your car is the exact same setup implicated in two very serious injuries at Streets of Willow about two years ago. My understanding of the problem is that the length of the belts is too long. Each inch of belt stretches so much. You have such a long belt that, under extreme force, it will stretch much farther than is safely allowable. You could hit your face on the steering wheel (which happened to the driver in the incident I’m mentioning), or when you double recoil (or continuously recoil back and forth if you’re rolling) you will submarine under the dashboard. If the car is rolling you might even eject out the top of the belts (because they can come off your shoulders as your body slams back and forth and either submarines or comes out the top).

To make that setup somewhat safer you could put in a 5th point (but not necessarily safe enough because you’re belts will still stretch too far). What you should do is put in a harness bar behind the seat. Or you can still run at our events with the stock OEM seatbelts if you can re-install them correctly.

Sorry for the bad news, but we want you to be safe, and hopefully you do too . Let me know what you decide to do.

thanks,

Aaron Bitterman
Speed Ventures
 

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I'm curious why harness companies would sell a harness long enough so as to no longer be safe. The generic Schroth harnesses have mounting "tails" that connect to the main harness with a buckle. I wonder if the tails are made so as not to stretch. It would make sense that they shouldn't, thus leaving the belts themselves at a fixed length/stretch potential.

Schroth Racing Harnesses
 

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That Sparco belt setup wouldn't pass any organizations track tech that I am aware of. :eek: You would be safer with the stock 3-point setup. Whoever bought and/or installed that is simply foolish. -eek-
 

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That Sparco belt setup wouldn't pass any organizations track tech that I am aware of. :eek: You would be safer with the stock 3-point setup. Whoever bought and/or installed that is simply foolish. -eek-
I was thinking the same exact thing.
 

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^ Im not an expert on this matter by any means. However, when a reputable company like Sparco sells safety harnesses you would think they are better than stock.

Why doesnt the racing community try to announce to the world the dangers of improper belts? Im kinda serious here. If those belts are not safe to use, why are they sold?
 

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The real issue is that the installation is unsafe rather than the belts. The distance between the driver's seat and attachment points for the tails is waaaay too long to ensure that the driver will remain secure in a crash.

For example, there is about four inches of distance between the driver's seat and harness bar on my Exige.

Sparco, Shroth, Simpson etc. can manufactur safe belts, but they cannot be certain that their safety equipment will be installed properly so to deliver the intended level of safety.
 

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Sparco, Shroth, Simpson etc. can manufactur safe belts, but they cannot be certain that their safety equipment will be installed properly so to deliver the intended level of safety.
True - but if there is an acceptable length, then why would they manufacture and sell them any longer than that?
 

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Money. More sales.
Umm - no. Any real answers?

I just read through the Schroth installation manual for their Rallye 4 harness and while it goes into minute detail of acceptable (i.e. acceptably safe) and unacceptable installation points and methods, they specifically illustrate that mounting them as shown above is a proper method. Their system is a bit different, and maybe that Sparco harness isn't intended to be mounted that way - but it is manufactured that long for a reason. Again: if the harness company has done so much testing and gone through the certification processes, how is it that one of their certified installation methods is not safe?
 
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