AUS: Safety of paramount importance

Safety of Paramount Importance To Carrera Cup Technology continues to refine and advance the safety standards in motorsport today. The Australian Carrera Cup continues to be a leader in commitment to driver safety, with technology playing an ...

Safety of Paramount Importance To Carrera Cup

Technology continues to refine and advance the safety standards in motorsport today. The Australian Carrera Cup continues to be a leader in commitment to driver safety, with technology playing an important role.

A growing number of drivers in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car category now use the HANS device to minimise the chance of head and neck injuries.

Since the beginning of the 2004 season, Carrera Cup drivers including Klark Quinn, Tony Quinn, Paul Pedersen, Ross Rutherford, Kevin Bell, Andrew Bagnall, Roger Oakeshott and Ash Samadi have all decided to use the HANS device for greater head and neck support.

Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun driver Roger Oakeshott was involved in an accident at Queensland Raceway last month, which resulted in his Porsche being skewed head-on into a concrete wall at approximately 130kph and up to 6.5G.

"We spent about half a day earlier this year finding the right HANS device, and I certainly am glad that we spent that time locating the best one for me," said Oakeshott, a driver and also Orthopedic Surgeon at SportsMed SA.

"In that incident, the device did exactly what it was meant to. I actually could feel it pull my head up and support it. I do believe that, had I not had it on, the impact could have broken my neck."

Team VIP Petfoods driver Klark Quinn is another strong advocate of the HANS device particularly after a large shunt at Eastern Creek in April.

"When I had that big shunt at Eastern Creek, it reassured us that we were making the right decision and how important the HANS device would be.

"I didn't have one at that stage, and all I felt when I hit the wall at 150kph was my eyes going through the windscreen with my neck feeling it was that far ahead of my shoulders.

"I now use one, and it doesn't interfere with my racing. I think the decision comes down to just how much you love your life, and I regard life as precious."

Driver safety is of paramount importance to the Australian Carrera Cup organisers. CEO Jamey Blaikie believes that any product that enhances driver safety such as the HANS device is just as important as the other car safety features. These include the welded-in roll cage, in-car fitted fire extinguisher, laminated glass windscreens, racing bucket seat with fire retardant upholstery, tow hooks, and a six-point safety harness.

The HANS head and neck support was developed and tested for more than a decade by Dr. Robert Hubbard, a biomechanical engineering professor at Michigan State University, and then went on sale for the first time in 1990.

From information at www.hansdevice.com, extensive testing has proven that the HANS device consistently reduces the injury potential from head motions and neck loads.

In a crash without the HANS device, the shoulder harness and seat restrain the driver's torso but only the neck restrains the head and helmet. The HANS device keeps the driver's head from being pulled away from his upper body.

With the HANS device, forces stretching the neck in a frontal collision are reduced by more than 80 percent. In a frontal crash the HANS tethers restrain the head with forces that counteract the head's forward movements while the torso and HANS device are restrained by the shoulder harness.

By restraining the head to move with the torso in a crash, the head motions and forces in the neck are dramatically reduced.

The key points of the performance of the HANS device are:

1. In frontal impact with HANS system, the head moves with the torso to help reduce injurious head motions, accelerations, and neck loads.

2. With HANS, helmet position is controlled on driver's head.

3. Sudden head rotation is reduced.

4. HANS improves head restraint if a driver's helmet strikes another surface.

5. Driver restraint is improved while accelerating, braking, in a roll-over, or rear impact.

6. HANS provides improved load spreading of shoulder belt forces in driving and in crashes.

New improved versions of the device are now available in Australia. The latest version of the device has been engineered by Stand 21 - the official supplier of the HANS device to the Australian Carrera Cup. The HANS device is being considered as an addition to the standard equipment required for drivers in the 2005 Australian Carrera Cup Sporting Regulations.

-cupcar.au-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Greg Murphy , Andrew Bagnall , Tony Quinn , Klark Quinn , Ash Samadi , Kevin Bell