WKA: IRL SoK: Junior safety initiatve announced

Seattle, WA (July 12, 2007) -- Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by IndyCar Series announced today the implementation of an improved safety program for the junior class in the national championship series. Effective with the second...

Seattle, WA (July 12, 2007) -- Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by IndyCar Series announced today the implementation of an improved safety program for the junior class in the national championship series.

Effective with the second divisional races (Shawano and Moran), all drivers having a net body weight of 110 pounds or less will be required to wear an approved and SFI-certified chest protector regardless of class of competition. These chest protectors are currently mandated for the Cadet class of the series but the requirement is being applied more widely and now based solely on body weight.

Paul Zalud, Stars' president commented, "Recent occurrences brought to light that the younger and smaller-stature drivers in the junior class are just as vulnerable to chest injuries as the drivers of the Cadet class. By establishing a weight requirement, we make the rule more encompassing of those for which it was created."

The current chest protector on the market is intended for drivers of up to 110 pounds. Development of a junior-size unit is underway and expected to hit the market in coming months. Competitors can expect that once certification is complete, its use will be mandated for the larger drivers.

Also included in the initiative is the 2008 requirement for JICA-class chassis to carry the newly-homologated rear protection systems. Comprised of a molded plastic, full width rear bumper and universal fit bracketry, the additional protection will help to prevent contact with the rear wheels and the flips and airborne accidents that often occur as a result.

National Technical Director, Scott G Evans concluded, "Safety on the track is our primary concern and the implementation of this initiative is designed to provide a buffer between a minor track incident and a trip to the hospital. Even though the rear systems and conventional full width bumpers are currently optional in our series, there is reluctance among competitors to install something that is not mandated. Along with the chest protectors we feel that these are positive steps taken to provide for our junior constituents' safety."

-credit: sok

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