SFI Responds to Recent CAMS Announcement

April 17, 2014 – The SFI Foundation, Inc. (SFI) has significant concerns with the recent decision made by the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) to disallow the use of SFI Spec 38.1 head and neck restraints (HNR’s) in their sanctioned events after 2015. SFI is greatly disappointed that CAMS made this decision without requesting input from SFI prior to taking this action, and also without the courtesy of notifying SFI directly of their decision.

Even of greater concern is the fact that CAMS is rejecting an industry- accepted standard that is recognized world-wide and used by most major sanctioning bodies and organizations, including NASCAR, Indycar, NHRA, and the FIA itself. In the FIA standard for frontal head restraint systems, a prerequisite for approval is certification to SFI Spec 38.1.[1]

The dynamic test procedure utilized in SFI 38.1 took years of careful research and was developed by the top biomechanical engineering and motorsports safety experts in the field, including the inventors of the HANS device and Safety Solutions Hutchens/R3/Rage devices. These same individuals, along with manufacturers of other devices certified to SFI 38.1, are also current members of the SFI 38.1 technical committee which oversees the ongoing maintenance of the standard. To disallow devices certified to SFI 38.1 is to reject the work of such innovators.

SFI Specification 38.1 is a performance standard, not a design spec. Its dynamic sled procedure simulates violent frontal impacts and tests the structural integrity of an HNR and its effectiveness to decrease neck tension and compression, thereby reducing the chance of fatal basal skull fracture injuries. This performance-based format encourages innovation by inventors, resulting in different choices of compliant devices, many of which are designed for specific, non-traditional applications and disciplines. By not being allowed to use SFI 38.1 devices, CAMS competitors will lose the variety and options of devices available to them. It will also be costly to racers who must unnecessarily replace their devices.

If you share SFI’s concerns regarding this matter, please share them with CAMS.

[1] FIA Standard 8858-2010, Section 2. Scope, 2


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