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View Poll Results: Should HANS devices be mandatory in Skip Barber events? If yes, how?
Yes, they should be required. Everyone should buy their own. 34 24.46%
Yes, they should be required. Skip Barber should buy a bunch and lend them to new racers just like they do with helmets. 63 45.32%
No, They should NOT be required. They're effective, but it should be the driver's choice. 41 29.50%
No, They should NOT be required. They're not effective. 1 0.72%
Voters: 139. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2004
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Exclamation An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

The HANS device has now become a mandatory safety requirement in all major racing series, from NASCAR to both Indycar series, from Formula Mazda to Formula BMW, and as of July 1st every FIA sanctioned event from WRC to DTM to Formula 1.

While our Skip Barber cars may not achieve the top or average speeds of any of those series, our cars are still fast enough to get us into serious trouble. In a crash, sometimes our cars are slowed from high speeds (70-140mph) down to 0 mph in 6 feet or less, as has been witnessed numerous times recently at Lime Rock, Barber Park etc. The G forces generated by these impacts are really high, whether or not the car absorbs a lot of the impact.

At Barber Park this year, I made a mistake and went off at the exit of Turn One at around 90 mph, did a half spin on wet grass (I didnÕt slow down at all) and then hit the tire wall backwards at probably around 80 mph. The tire wall absorbed the energy progressively and made the impact relatively soft. The force was spread completely and almost evenly through my entire back and head, and I luckily had no injuries or residual pain. But the impact was very heavy, and the decelerative force generated A LOT of pressure on my back and head.

I'm really concerned that few if any of the drivers have the physical strength to support their heads under such loads if they went in head first instead. I don't profess to be an expert, and I might very well be completely wrong, but I think that if I had hit that wall head on without a HANS, there would have been no way that I could keep my head restrained and from stretching unnaturally forward. What would have happened to me without one? I'd probably just be really sore. But repeat this accident with 20 different drivers of varying physical conditioning and 20 different impact scenarios, and I think that you'll get at least one avoidable injury or worse. I've seen the videos on Basal Skull Fractures. If you have too, I think you would also be very concerned.

I think that most of the experienced and committed Skippy regulars use the HANS, but very few of the new or irregular drivers do. Maybe 50% of all of the drivers use them, and another 25% are on the fence about getting one. I know that they are expensive, but so are some of our heads, and so it should be considered requiring their use at all events.

If drivers are required to use it, the 25% on the fence will go buy them tomorrow. You could then outfit and provide your school/racing series helmets with HANS devices for the other 25%, which are generally the new drivers that haven't yet considered purchasing a helmet, or for the drivers that find it prohibitively costly. You could then even use it as a marketing tool - 'The first series/school to provide and require the HANS device' etc.

I think we all have a responsibility to look out for and protect each other. I believe in the HANS device and that one day it will save one of us. It's really important that you voice your opinions and thoughts on this matter either way. Please submit your vote as well as replying with your thoughts.

Thank you

S.A.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

From the perspective of an orthopaedic surgeon - we should all wear the HANS device. I have seen some of the manufacturers data and I believe (as evidently does NASCAR, FIA, IRL, etc.) that the decel forces are significantly less with the HANS. Skippy should provide them in some quantity so that the occasional racer or school participant etc., has availability of the HANS for their use. My only comment would be to wear the device properly. Even though he is the world's best, Michael S wears the thethers on his so long that I doubt the device can function in the manner in which it was designed (check it out on the next F1 race) . This sets a bad example for the rest of us. Tightening up the tethers does limit rotational movement and the ability to look out the side of the car to some degree, but is easy to adapt to and allows the device to protect us as it was designed to do.

Once we know something is better (when tallking about driver safety) we need to move forward and adopt the technology.

K squared
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I finally purchased a HANS device and installed it prior to the July LR weekend. In race 2 I was having the fastest race of my experience over the last 2 years. Well, it happened...Going for third in the downhill, just completing my fastest lap ever by 2 seconds was setting up to pass on the staright and I ran out of track on exit...wheels kicked out and slammed across into the tire wall at about 80MPH.

EMT's asked me whether I had neck or head pain and remarkably I said NO. I would up fracturing a bone in my knee, possibly in my shoulder and elbow, severly bruised up... I did notice I had pressure on the top of my forehead when I got out and had a headache for 2 days. The HANS device probably saved my head from crossing the tire wall.

The video says it all. Any one who races without investing in a device that will save your life for the cost of one race is being short sighted and is asking for trouble.
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I think everyone should wear it - if you can afford racing, you can afford safety...


:tomahawk
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I have some thoughts on how to smoothly and cost efficiently integrate HANS as a requirement without requiring racers to shell out another $1,200 for equipment.

At any given SBRS weekend there are 50 to 90 drivers at a track but never more than 16 on it in a car at the same time.
What I am saying is what about equipping all "cars" with HANS. What if SB ordered 20 devices (5Large 15 regular) and made it mandatory for drivers to wear them.
It will cost SB 20G, which means that they would have to raise prices byabout 25$ for a race or school etc. in order to break even.

The drivers would be responsible to have their helmets fitted. Individual helmets could be fitted by the mechanics for the nominal $75 fee that HANS is charging. This is also a welcome contribution to the mechanics fund. SBRS helmets would be fitted by HANS - the preparation of helmets is included in the purchase of the device.
Oh, some of now you will complain and say "hey I bought my own, why don't I get a credit or something?" - Well you also bought your own helmets and suits and are fine with not getting any refund.

The other beauty of this procedue is that it would render Michael's parachuting equipment as being entirely useless (including the neck brace) and we could make some jokes about it actually that would be Donald's job).

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  #6  
Old 08-17-2004
NickHaye NickHaye is offline
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I really believe that having the HANS device should be a mandatory piece of equipment to use. No matter how we plan to do it, I feel that we should require every driver to use one. I've heard people say.... "God forbid if one of those straps break, then you'll break your neck". One told me that I shouldn't buy one and I seriously think he was out of his mind. If formula 1, nascar, champcar, and IRL all require to wear the HANS device, then I think that its definitely enough proof that we should have it required for every Skippy driver.

-nick

Last edited by sydude; 08-17-2004 at 07:47 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Ran my first SBRS event at LRP this past weekend (8/13-14/04) and would not have been able put a foot into the car and look my wife and daughter or myself in the eye if my first purchases had not been a properly fitted helmet, and a HANS device. All you have to do is look at the in-car footage of a Skip Barber Reynard going off the LRP downhill into the tire wall from Chris Szwedo's "LRP The Secret Valley of Racing" film and the case for a HANS device is easily made. It's an impressive hit.

In my perfect world :-) All would experience an SB HANS safety discussion in which you'd first see Dale Earnhardt's final crash at Daytona while explaining it was the equivilent of a 43 mph head on impact, and then view the Szwedo LRP clip while pointing out how remarkably far the head of the dazed, concussed and lucky driver's head snaps forward after impact. It should be stressed that crippling or fatal basal neck injuries are thankfully few and far between, but when the speed and impact angle tumblers have your number on them, you don't want your last conscious thought on the planet to be, "Gee, I should have bought that HANS device."

We tend to live in pleasant denial of the dangers of racing because it is natural to focus on success, assume the many advances in safety design and equipment have things covered, and finally, because we think it will never happen to us.

The racing community only recently (after Earnhardt's death) embraced the device and it is still simply too easy to ignore because of the cost.
Check out this link to the HANS web site for more info
http://www.hansdevice.com/history.html

Beyond the cost, asking SB to provide HANS devices for each car and/or having mechanics attach helmet hardware may be a tricky liability issue but I'm not a lawyer.

An alternate business solution might be to approach HANS about making SB a bona fide distributor of the devices and then stocking them at all SB racing school and weekend events. (I have no doubt they would sell a bunch) at the same time they could make a limited number available for rental (perhaps $100 or $150 per event rental) to create a viable alternative cost point to those who are concerned or cautious about racing school, or want to sample a race series event but are not likely to invest $1,200 on something they may seldom or never use again. I'd also make it SB policy that no one in the race series would rent an in-car camera before they were wearing or renting a HANS device for their in-car sessions. (Make it mandatory to spend the dough on personal safety before the luxury of a video)

Considering the volume of SB racing students and racers around the country, it's hard to know why there isn't more sales distribution and discount linkage between safety equipment manufacturers and SB. It would seem to be a no brainer, but second guessing is always easy.

There just aren't any good reasons for not wearing a HANS device.

Last edited by dalyduo; 09-27-2004 at 09:14 PM. Reason: noticed a couple of typos and a spelling mistake.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I would like to hear why some of us are taking the position that it should be racers's choice and not be mandatory. Other than the "independent" thinking of a racing personality, I can't come up with any justification of why someone wouldn't think that safety equipment of this nature isn't just as important as making sure your brakes work and the wheels are attached to the car.

Everyone in the series benefits when we are safe as well as our families and friends.We should have every race be a safe one where there are no serious injuries or deaths. We shouldn't wait for another "incident" to make us put up the traffic light.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2004
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What a bunch of democrats!

I guess after you mandate the HANS you will push to require polarized lenses on our visors to protect our corneas.. and how about requiring sweaters in the winter so we don't catch a cold?!

No, don't get me wrong. I am a huge advocate of personal safety. After all, I wear a Hutchins device (the lesser known competitor to the HANS). And, any one who knows me knows that I am safety conscious.

But, it should be a personal choice. Lime Rock Racer... you mention traffic lights. Obviously these are for public safety. A HANS only protects the individual (and their family). Are we concerned about the family? Then we should require life and disability insurance so the family is protected in case of a severe shunt!

I hate when governing bodies impose rules on me for my own good. I have put a motorcycle down at speed and cracked my helmet in half.... I still rail against mandatory helmet laws. I want personal choice and freedom.

NASCAR and others mandated HANS after DE died. Why? Most likely because of the negative publicity that came along with it.

On my boat, I have no problem with the govt requiring life jackets on kids. Until a certain age... kids need to be protected from themselves and the possibility of having an idiot for a parent. But, aside from Andretti and Edwards (hee hee) we are all adults here.

I think anyone who doesn't wear the proper gear... a well fitting helmet, neck support, proper Nomex, etc is truly asking for trouble. But, please... let it be my decision.
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2004
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Re: What a bunch of democrats!

Actually I lean republican. I am playing devils advocate and understand your points fully. I was asking a question and making the case for us to use our brains. Obviously some use it more than others. As far as your sweater choice I never liked your fashion choices anyway. That Hutchins device makes you look like you just jumped out of a plane
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2004
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Re: What a bunch of democrats!

You know... I voted for drivers choice yesterday for a lot of the same reasons MJAmok did but after further reflection, I'd like to change my vote to making them mandatory: (Can I do that Sy?)

First, I don't think I want the decision about purchasing an important piece of safety equipment left to my judgment when the issue is money. That's really what we are talking about here. If a HANS device cost 25 or 50 bucks this wouldn't even be up for discussion. Every new helmet would come with one and we'd all be wearin' em.

Ye 'Ol Red Mist takes many forms. Imagine you are young (or even distinguished and mature like myself :-), have limited resources, and are pawing the ground to strap yourself into a car and be competitive. Faced with the option of purchasing a HANS device or running a lapping day what do you do? There are still way too many easy excuses for those on a budget to put themselves at risk and choose the lapping day (or car parts if not SB) over the HANS. So I say build in the cost up front and mandate it. It will only save lives, support the sport and reduce medical costs.

Ponder the outcome this past weekend if our Red Bull young gun Cole Nelson, with no HANS device and no brakes after his turn one collision, had hit the Jersey barrier next to the escape road head-on at speed instead of flying deep into the muck off the end of the escape road. The youngest fastest and most fearless drivers may feel basal neck injury is only a minor threat and opt out, when they are, in fact, the most at risk. Not Good.

We've all had high speed near misses that, during thoughtful reflection, make choosing a HANS device a no-brainer (so to speak). But those misses are quickly forgotten when the adrenaline starts pumping again. The relative infrequency of basal neck injuries is both a blessing and a curse. The threat of it happening isn't in our face all the time so protecting against it feels like more of a choice than it should be.

Second, the emotional impact to this group of drivers if a member were lost due to a preventable basal neck injury. (Key word, PREVENTABLE) would be devastating. The SBRS would then have to mandate them and people would bad mouth the SBRS for not doing it sooner. The negative publicity would certainly hurt business and possibly threaten the series. So there are some legitimate social and series self preservation (for the collective good) reasons for mandating a HANS that go beyond the individuals right to determine their safety needs.

Jeez, I'm getting dizzy from being up so high on this soapbox...

Anyway, I'd now like to offer a very dark top ten list in favor of keeping HANS devices optional.

Top Ten reasons the SBRS should keep HANS devices optional:

10. If the crash is survived... Free motorized wheelchair "chair control clinic".
9. If crash not survived... first "Memorial" race is named after you.
8. Finally get some return on that life insurance policy your brother-in-law sold you.
7. Stop the rapid depletion of our nation's precious carbon fiber reserves.
6. No longer have to justify the huge expense of racing to anyone.
5. Be the new fast guy on the recently repaved "Hell" road course.
4. For drivers already using HANS devices... One less pass for a podium finish.
3. Finally have something in common with Dale Earnhardt and Adam Petty.
2. They're a poor substitute for a good toilet seat.

And the number one reason HANS devices should not be mandated by SBRS...

1. Thinning the herd occasionally is a good thing.

I did say "dark" didn't I... :-)

Adios,
Pat
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2004
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Speaking of Dale Earnhardt...

What does he have in common with Pink Floyd?

The last big hit for both of them was "The Wall".
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Old 08-18-2004
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Re: What a bunch of democrats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo
You know... I voted for drivers choice yesterday for a lot of the same reasons MJAmok did but after further reflection, I'd like to change my vote to making them mandatory: (Can I do that Sy?)
Done. I changed your vote. It's now 50/50 on whether or not it should be required.
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  #14  
Old 08-18-2004
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Vote manipulation...

I demand a recount... we know about Sy's math tendencies!

Also, check for hanging chad Jeb!
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2004
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Re: What a bunch of democrats!

Thanks Sy

Adios,
Pat
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  #16  
Old 08-19-2004
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Re: What a bunch of democrats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo
You know... I voted for drivers choice yesterday for a lot of the same reasons MJAmok did but after further reflection, I'd like to change my vote to making them mandatory: (Can I do that Sy?)

First, I don't think I want the decision about purchasing an important piece of safety equipment left to my judgment when the issue is money. That's really what we are talking about here. If a HANS device cost 25 or 50 bucks this wouldn't even be up for discussion. Every new helmet would come with one and we'd all be wearin' em.

Ye 'Ol Red Mist takes many forms. Imagine you are young (or even distinguished and mature like myself :-), have limited resources, and are pawing the ground to strap yourself into a car and be competitive. Faced with the option of purchasing a HANS device or running a lapping day what do you do? There are still way too many easy excuses for those on a budget to put themselves at risk and choose the lapping day (or car parts if not SB) over the HANS. So I say build in the cost up front and mandate it. It will only save lives, support the sport and reduce medical costs.

Ponder the outcome this past weekend if our Red Bull young gun Cole Nelson, with no HANS device and no brakes after his turn one collision, had hit the Jersey barrier next to the escape road head-on at speed instead of flying deep into the muck off the end of the escape road. The youngest fastest and most fearless drivers may feel basal neck injury is only a minor threat and opt out, when they are, in fact, the most at risk. Not Good.

We've all had high speed near misses that, during thoughtful reflection, make choosing a HANS device a no-brainer (so to speak). But those misses are quickly forgotten when the adrenaline starts pumping again. The relative infrequency of basal neck injuries is both a blessing and a curse. The threat of it happening isn't in our face all the time so protecting against it feels like more of a choice than it should be.

Second, the emotional impact to this group of drivers if a member were lost due to a preventable basal neck injury. (Key word, PREVENTABLE) would be devastating. The SBRS would then have to mandate them and people would bad mouth the SBRS for not doing it sooner. The negative publicity would certainly hurt business and possibly threaten the series. So there are some legitimate social and series self preservation (for the collective good) reasons for mandating a HANS that go beyond the individuals right to determine their safety needs.

Jeez, I'm getting dizzy from being up so high on this soapbox...

Anyway, I'd now like to offer a very dark top ten list in favor of keeping HANS devices optional.

Top Ten reasons the SBRS should keep HANS devices optional:

10. If the crash is survived... Free motorized wheelchair "chair control clinic".
9. If crash not survived... first "Memorial" race is named after you.
8. Finally get some return on that life insurance policy your brother-in-law sold you.
7. Stop the rapid depletion of our nation's precious carbon fiber reserves.
6. No longer have to justify the huge expense of racing to anyone.
5. Be the new fast guy on the recently repaved "Hell" road course.
4. For drivers already using HANS devices... One less pass for a podium finish.
3. Finally have something in common with Dale Earnhardt and Adam Petty.
2. They're a poor substitute for a good toilet seat.

And the number one reason HANS devices should not be mandated by SBRS...

1. Thinning the herd occasionally is a good thing.

I did say "dark" didn't I... :-)

Adios,
Pat
I could not have put this any more eloquently...the part about the negative effect on all of us and the series if someone has the ultimate mis-hap. This is the heart if what I was asking in my last post.
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

If the mounting points are not changed for HANS devices their effectiveness is greatly reduced FOR ALL DRIVERS (per HANS handbook). The mounting point should be no more than 1" below the shoulder blade.

Secondly, the rollbars need to modified to stop them "digging in." Too many drivers have come close to getting hurt bad because the roll bar is driven into the gravel or the grass. A simple, cheap, and effective modification would be to "cap" the rollbar in fiberglass.

Thirdly, ALL drivers who cause someone else, or themselves, to flip should be given race bans. Flipping is tolerated far too much in the race series.
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  #18  
Old 09-04-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Coming late to Team Juicy Website - great going and thanks for setting it up - I write from a physician's vantage and also that of a too frequent crasher. The data are clear: the device will save lives - not ALL lives because stars do get misaligned. Having crashed head-on into the tire barrier outside turn 2 at Mt. Tremblant at about 100 mph crossing wet grass on slicks after taking my hands off the wheel and then thinking "I'm really going fast, I better get my head forward in the HANS," I had the hardest hit I've had. Forgot to tense my arms so they shot forward and the spinning wheel broke my left index finger which was pinned after I got home. Amazingly, no head, neck or back pain. Fingers are one thing, heads another, so I was able to run the rest of the weekend wearing a big left glove to cover the splint. Not to be outdone, Revere did the same crash a day later, was duly impressed by the HANS effect, and entirely uninjured.

How to get from gradually increasing use to accelerating use without people feeling coerced? If all the testers wore HANS all the time, their example would be most influential. At present, their example gives misguided encouragment to rationalizations of many kinds.

John Greist
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Very compelling testimony and great point about the power of a testers influence by example.
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Old 09-27-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Greist
How to get from gradually increasing use to accelerating use without people feeling coerced? If all the testers wore HANS all the time, their example would be most influential. At present, their example gives misguided encouragment to rationalizations of many kinds.

John Greist
I was absolutely thrilled to hear from Divi yesterday that they gave our awesome Eastern Series testers HANS devices. A great step forward, if not just to help promote the cause then also to protect incredible guys like Jason and RB who hang their lives out there for us every day. I didn't get a chance to ask her if they got them for all of their testers, but I'm sure they will if they haven't already.

This weekend was another big Watkins Glen crashfest with some really big hits - and luckily no one was hurt. Sore, yes, but no injuries.

Last edited by sydude; 09-28-2004 at 01:05 AM.
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  #21  
Old 09-27-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by sydude
I was absolutely thrilled to hear from Divi yesterday that they gave our awesome Eastern Series testers HANS devices. A great step forward, if not to help promote the cause then just to protect incredible guys like Jason and RB who hang their lives out there for us every day. I didn't get a chance to ask her if they got them for everybody, but I'm sure they will if they haven't already.

This weekend was another big Watkins Glen crashfest with some really big hits - and luckily no one was hurt. Sore, yes, but no injuries.
Thats just super good news about the testers now wearing HANS devices.

Tim Hoagland reports from the Glen on his two major offs on consecutive days, straight into barriers, at the same corner.

"...Two big accidents (entry speed was 90 plus in one and 100 in the other ) were a bit much to take. HANS though, did a GREAT job. NO headache or neck pain. I'm very very lucky. This I do know".

Yes, as Tim only recently purchased his HANS device with no intention of testing it (twice) so soon.
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  #22  
Old 09-27-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I was behind Tim for his second foray, behind MacDonald for his nose dive into a tire barrier, and behind Ivo when he put a $28k hurtin' on his car. Fortunately, none of them were hurt. I know Tim was wearing HANS, what about Donald and Ivo?


I wore my Hutchins into the wall as well... went in backwards so I didn't have to test it again!
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  #23  
Old 09-27-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJAmok
I was behind Tim for his second foray, behind MacDonald for his nose dive into a tire barrier, and behind Ivo when he put a $28k hurtin' on his car. Fortunately, none of them were hurt. I know Tim was wearing HANS, what about Donald and Ivo?


I wore my Hutchins into the wall as well... went in backwards so I didn't have to test it again!
I seem to recall Big Mac wearing a HANS at LRP, and also taking exception to the shoulder belt attachment points not being optimal for HANS devices in an 8/31 post on this thread. Not sure about Ivo, but... let me back the tape up here...
You were behind Tim when he crashed, behind Donald when he crashed and behind Ivo when he crashed?... Hhhmmm??!! That would lead one to speculate about the very intense competitive pressure you must have been exerting on all three, or... that battery powered Radio Shack "Red Mist Beacon" really works! (Perhaps explaining that backwards hit when you spun in your own beacon?:-)

All kidding aside, truly glad everyone was able to walk away.

Last edited by dalyduo; 09-27-2004 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 09-28-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

yeah... I was kinda starting to feel like a bad luck charm!


and I didn't mention the multitude of spins I witnessed.... including Ludwig, Franc, and Lippert in the Bus Stop.... and Matt in turn 9!

What I wouldn't give for a Marino video of this weekend! Where were you Mike?!?!
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Old 09-28-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I'm not sure if Ivo has a HANS device. He was lucky to back his car in gearbox first, so the entire car took the hit. It was $28k because every almost every component on the car stretched. He went in for x-rays and a CAT scan and was fine. Just sore, obviously. That car took such good care of him.

Personally, I've been using the HANS for about a year and have never looked back. Actually, I like the way it bolts me to the car better than the bare shoulder belt.
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Old 10-11-2004
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HANS vs. D-cel

Casey and Hammer need not read this, as they have heard it before and do not like to hear me repeat myself!
************************************************** ********


I always get questioned about the harness I wear. This weekend, I got more than normal... likely due to this thread and my comments at the driver meeting.

Here is why I chose the D-cel... despite the fact that it looks foolish.

1- I have heard that in a hard hit, the HANS has been known to dig in and break the driver's ribs.

2- Some guys have been unhappy with how the HANS fits in the Skippy car.
-Have you seen Sy standing on the back of a car to help someone adjust their HANS??
-Hammer uses a strap to keep the belts on his HANS. I think that is dangerous.
-In non-head-on impact tests and multiple impact tests, safety harnesses have been disloged from the HANS, thereby rendering it useless.
-These are not issues with the D-cel, as it attaches to the driver and does not rely on the car's harnesses.

3- The HANS offers no neck support under normal driving circumstances. The D-cel has been shown to dramatically lower neck fatigue thoughout a race.

4- D-cel offers more side impact support than the HANS

5- Some have complained that the D-cel limits their vision by reducing how much they can turn their head. This sounds like the same argument made by guys who don't like full face helmets on motorcycles.

6- D-cel and HANS are both approved by NASCAR

7- By HANS' own research... D-cel is shown to reduce neck movement to below the injury threshold. I haven't found any test results conducted by D-cel.


I'd like to hear if anyone has done research that shows the D-cel to be inferior in any areas. I haven't heard any yet.

Either way... buy one and strap it on boys!

FYI... the Hutchins (what I used to wear) is similar to the D-cel. The difference is that the Hutchins buckles into the car's belt system. This means it needs to be re-adjusted everytime. The D-cel wraps around your legs... therefore, only an initial adjustment is required.
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Old 10-11-2004
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Re: HANS vs. D-cel

It all comes clear....

"The D-cel wraps around your legs... therefore, only an initial adjustment is required."

Bondage, and in a race car. Shame.
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  #28  
Old 10-11-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

yes... but I opted not to add the scrotal attachment. My wife, however, has installed hooks on the ceiling.... YEAH BABY!
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  #29  
Old 10-12-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

my 2 cents, as a recent HANS user: when I hit the tire wall sideways on the uphill, the HANS limited the sideways movement of my melon, eliminating any neck injury...HOWEVER, the HANS did provide a heightened level of excitement and training in my qualifying session and 2 races, as the harnesses slipped off midway through the sessions (what's that sliding down my arm???? ) just an excuse to drive smotthly and consistently! MJA, your S&M device surely can't offer such an advantage!
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  #30  
Old 10-18-2004
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Exclamation Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Racing is an expensive sport.............the cost of a proper device, HANS or other neck restraint, is easily justifiable..................would think that a proper helmet is too expensive....................the cost of two memorial races spent to buy a HANS.....................is better than breaking your neck...................can't race.............or live.................... with a broken cervical spine. Maybe some of you guys are too new to remember, we lost a great guy and racer at LRP a few years back.............from an injury that was exactly like the type that a HANS would have probably prevented. Any one who thinks that we don't need them............cause we don't achieve the kinda speeds that cause these injuries are grossly mistaken. Once it happens....................you can never go back. My advice is to sit out a couple of memorials or lapping days............if you have a problem with the cost................and race safer for the future.
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Old 10-29-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

The downhill turn at Lime Rock Park, when taken at the limit, is the fastest, scariest and potentially most dangerous turn on the course. The runoff area at track-out is very brief and ends in a flexible tire wall designed to save your life, but not your car. It is not a corner you want to overshoot. It is also the key corner to building a fast lap around LRP because it leads onto the longest straight on the course.

During the first practice session for my second race series weekend, I’d been carrying more speed through the downhill and was adjusting my turn-in point when, on lap 20, I turned in too early and both left side wheels slid completely off the track-out rumble strip onto dirt and grass.

I had successfully recovered from wheels-off events at slower corners before but never at the speed or risk of the downhill. As much as I thought I could handle the situation, when the wheels slipped off the rumble strip, I panicked and over-steered to the right, swinging the rear of the car out to the left. That overcorrection could still have been saved if I’d kept my foot in the throttle and steered back to the left, but fear of the looming tire wall panicked me further. I lifted out of the throttle, which instantly rotated the back of the car into an unrecoverable spin. I locked up the brakes, but with three wheels already off the pavement, there wasn’t much traction or reduction in speed. The car completely reversed direction on the grass and the next second lasted an eternity as I recreated the journey of every downhill tire wall crash I’d ever seen, this from the first time perspective of inside the cockpit going backward and sideways at 90 mph.

Because there was nothing more I could do, and couldn’t see what I was about to hit, the panic shifted to disappointed curiosity at what the “Big Hit” would be like. That final second lasted so long that I actually started to wonder if I might somehow miss the tire wall.

Eternity ended dramatically in the next millisecond when the right side of the car pancaked - Ka-Pow! Into the tire wall like a Roger Clemens fastball hitting a catchers mitt. (Perhaps hard-slider is a more appropriate analogy) I was stunned by the impact but didn’t lose consciousness. There was a considerable dust cloud, a couple of racecars went by and safety workers arrived very soon after that. (They were concerned enough by the speed of the impact to stop track traffic and bring the emergency vehicle the wrong way up the front straight to save time.) I wiggled my body parts to make sure everything still worked, told the safety workers I seemed to be ok, unhooked the belts, stood up, took off my helmet & HANS device and stepped out of the car. The right front suspension and wheel were gone and nowhere in site. The right rear suspension was completely collapsed and mangled. The exhaust manifold was crushed and pointing upward like one of Dizzy Gillespie's signature trumpet bells, the right side radiator was crushed in and much of the right side-pod’s fiberglass bodywork had splintered into pieces. The rear wing was crumpled and skewed to the left. The entire right side of the car was a write off. The tire wall shifted back a few feet as it was designed to upon impact. The car had given up its suspension parts while the frame and drivers cage protected me perfectly.

Though stunned, the only physical discomfort I experienced was a mild headache that lasted for about an hour, and some knee and calf soreness that increased with time. I rode back to the medical shack with the EMS attendant who asked cognitive questions like name, address and phone number etc. before taking my blood pressure and declaring, “Your pressure is better than mine… Guess your OK!” He didn’t seem concerned and I felt fine about signing a waiver declining a precautionary trip to the hospital. (He did say to come back if I felt any further repercussions from the hit and I did later go back to thank him for his swift attention and to also thank Jocko Jacopino for the great job he does maintaining the tire wall that worked so well.)

I was wearing an Arai Helmet and a HANS device. I know the HANS device is primarily designed to prevent basil neck injuries from a forward impact but I have to say that the HANS also appeared to stabilize my helmet during the side impact just described. I experienced absolutely no head or neck pain from this rather impressive hit. As mentioned, I did have a mild short-lived headache from the sudden deceleration and that was it. I was asked if I had any chest or rib discomfort from the HANS device digging into me. I experienced absolutely no discomfort from the HANS device.

My knees and legs were another story. Both were heavily bruised while bouncing off the steering column and various frame members in the cockpit. As the day progressed the left knee and calf became increasingly swollen and sore. This was later diagnosed as a tweaked tendon that ran from my foot to the back of my knee. My clutch foot had been fully extended when I hit and the tendon was shocked and strained by the impact.
My leg soreness was minor at first and increased gradually throughout the day. Between dinner and bedtime my legs stiffened up so much that I could barely walk. Advil, and several applications of ice did improve mobility dramatically. The next morning I was able to walk and drive successfully again. (With just the hint of a of sympathy limp :-)

Given the impressive hit, extensive damage to the car. (Almost $15,000) and the fact that I survived well enough to climb into another car 3 hours after the crash and lower my best lap time by another 3 tenths of a second, I owe a debt of gratitude to the outstanding safety design of the Arai helmet, HANS device, Dodge RT 2000 racecar and LRP tire wall.

When I purchased the Helmet and HANS device, I did it for peace of mind for myself and my family, having no idea I’d be testing them so relatively soon. The Mastercard “Priceless” moment was being able to call my wife and report how well the safety equipment had worked and then go back out and continue uninterrupted progress in my racing day.

I would rather not imagine how the day might have been different had I not been wearing the HANS device. We’ll never know exactly how much of a role it played but I’m certain it only made things better.

Having had this experience, I’ll never set foot in another racecar without wearing a HANS device.

And the next time I get into an RT2000, I’m also going to be wearing kneepads!
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  #32  
Old 11-14-2004
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Smile Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

After the last LR race when Sy (or was it Michael) stood up in front of everyone and told us we were stupid if we did not have one I went straight out and got one - I am not sure how it will feel - but will find out next w/e at Laguna Seca - at least when I am last this time I can blame something new!!!!!
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  #33  
Old 11-15-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Great choice Nick. Smartest investment you'll ever make. Hope you never have to test it, but if that moment does arrive you'll appreciate it even more.

I've never felt restricted or even been aware of the HANS while driving the car but, depending on your height, the belt attachment points on the RT2000 (which were designed many years before the HANS came along) may be less than optimum for you. Even in the best of circumstances it can be difficult to tell if you have the belts laying properly over the device while strapping into the car. Don't be shy about asking for an external visual confirmation that you've got it right, from one of the mechanics or an instructor, before each time you go out. Also be sure and snug the straps down extra tight as the hard surface of the HANS will allow the straps to slide off if they aren't tight and there have been reports of that happening.

I haven't heard anyone try and use their HANS device as an excuse for slow driving but hey... if anyone buys it please let us know!
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  #34  
Old 11-15-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Nick

Consider it a Team Juicy Public Service Announcement! Glad the message came through.

I hope you never need to test the HANS and that it proves to have been a waste of money!

Michael
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  #35  
Old 11-15-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Hey Dalyduo:
While it may seem that the downhill is the most dangerous corner at LRP it is not, it's just the most popular place to leave the track! When you consider how many cars have gone off at speed (on both sides) and how many really bad injuries have occured, it's fair to say it could be worse. The uphill on the other hand is probably about as fast, and with no run-off area to decelerate on and no tire wall to absorb the impact. Tony Monk died at the uphill not too many years ago because of that corner's design. A Hans device may have helped, or maybe not. But like chicken soup, it can't hurt.

While I don't deny the value of a device (Hans or whatever), I also wish LRP would pad the walls at #4, #5 and under the bridge like they have at the downhill and west bend. I wish track management was as concerned for our safety as much as is Sy.

WGI should also take a look at the tire walls at the LRP downhill and consider such walls at their place. The styrofoam may look soft, but it does not dissipate energy! It's more of a money maker than lifesaver. How much do they charge for those blocks?

OLDMAN
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  #36  
Old 11-15-2004
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

In re-thinking my earlier statement, I would have to agree with OLDMAN that the uphill currently holds more potential danger than the downhill. I would also agree that the downhill is a much more popular spot from which to exit the racing surface. I was factoring in vintage stories of downhill fatalities from cars slamming into and flying over the downhill earthen bank that predated the current barriers, with cars winding up in the trees or stream on the other side of the bank. Ancient history with less structurally sound cars and safety equipment. Though new at racing, I've been attending races at LRP since the late 60's, so forgive my long in the tooth perspective. I'd defer to Bruce McInnes or Bob Ziegel, who could quickly set the record straight as to which turn has a higher toll over the past 3 1/2 decades.

While I suspect the terminal velocity at downhill trackout is higher than the absolute limit through the uphill, its probably close enough to be statistically insignificant in terms of a crash. What makes your argument is the closer proximity of the immovable armco at the uphill. With no runoff or soft barrier, if you auger in at a bad angle the potential for catastrophic deceleration has got to be higher. So I stand corrected.

There isn't enough room at the uphill for a moveable tire barrier, but there might be room to pull out the armco and put in some sort of Nascar like "safer" barrier that would increase worst case scenario survivablility. Though the speeds through turn 4 are significanlty lower, the same would hold true for that corner.
I could be mistaken, but I believe there is now a flexible tire barrier under the bridge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDMAN
Hey Dalyduo:
While it may seem that the downhill is the most dangerous corner at LRP it is not, it's just the most popular place to leave the track! When you consider how many cars have gone off at speed (on both sides) and how many really bad injuries have occured, it's fair to say it could be worse. The uphill on the other hand is probably about as fast, and with no run-off area to decelerate on and no tire wall to absorb the impact. Tony Monk died at the uphill not too many years ago because of that corner's design. A Hans device may have helped, or maybe not. But like chicken soup, it can't hurt.

While I don't deny the value of a device (Hans or whatever), I also wish LRP would pad the walls at #4, #5 and under the bridge like they have at the downhill and west bend. I wish track management was as concerned for our safety as much as is Sy.

WGI should also take a look at the tire walls at the LRP downhill and consider such walls at their place. The styrofoam may look soft, but it does not dissipate energy! It's more of a money maker than lifesaver. How much do they charge for those blocks?

OLDMAN

Last edited by dalyduo; 11-16-2004 at 12:15 AM.
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  #37  
Old 01-04-2005
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NASCAR Mandates HANS Restraint System (Exclusively)

The New York Times "Sports Briefing" Auto Racing 1/4/05

Nascar Mandates HANS Restraint System:

Nascar will allow its competitors to use only the HANS device in 2005 because the other head-and-neck restraint system did not meet performance standards.

Drivers have had a choice of restraint systems since 2001, when Nascar began requiring competitors to use the HANS or the Hutchens devices after an investigation of Dale Earnhardt's death. The Nascar spokesman Mike Zizzo said yesterday that the Hutchens failed to meet minimum standards in testing by SFI Foundation Inc.

The HANS device was approved by SFI, a California-based nonprofit organization that sets standards for specialty/performance automotive and racing equipment.

The HANS (Head and Neck Support) resembles a collar and slides on like a fooball player's shoulder pads, then hooks onto the helmet.

The Hutchens device is a series of straps connecting across the chest and at the waist.

(AP) (I suppose the "AP" notation could cover both the Associated Press and Accident Prone! :-)

Last edited by dalyduo; 01-04-2005 at 09:38 AM.
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  #38  
Old 02-04-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDMAN
WGI should also take a look at the tire walls at the LRP downhill and consider such walls at their place. The styrofoam may look soft, but it does not dissipate energy! It's more of a money maker than lifesaver. How much do they charge for those blocks?OLDMAN
The styro blocks may not seem to help much but believe me, they help. My rookie blockhead move would have been much worse without the styro. I hit it hard enough to see the little birdies fluttering around my head (speed exiting Inner Loop what, Maybe 70)? Hitting raw Armco at that speed might have put me in the hospital.

This was in 2001 and I wasn't charged, at least directly, for the styro so no help on the cost question.

Oh, and don't forget to let go of the steering wheel when front end impact is unnavoidabable (right DD? )

And Sy, even my subzero/ski/welder gloves



didn't help my thumb in that one.

No HANS....it was 2001 and they were just making their way into the pro series.

.

Last edited by cdh; 02-04-2005 at 02:45 PM.
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  #39  
Old 02-22-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

as i sit typing w/ one hand after landing on my head sunday , i cant forget the conversation i had w/ sy about 30 mins. before i got into my car.

the conversation went something like this:
sy "do you have a hans device?"
me "no - planning on getting one very soon"
sy "you really should get one"
me "i know been meaning to for a while, i'll have one for the next race"
sy "good, you really shoould be wearing one"
me "i know"
blah b blah b blah

as i sat upside down waiting for the rescue crew, w/ what i assumed at the very least a broken hand (wiggling my fingers and toes to make sure it was nothing more serious), the first thing that followed my thoughts was that i need to get one of those hans devices sooner rather then later. i dont think i will ever get into a car again w/out one. in fact, i never should have gotten into the car w/out one in the first place.

i guess i got lucky that it wasn't a lot worse.
i would also like to add arm straps - had i been wearing those (~$20), i would have raced the memorial later that day. instead, i sit typing w/ one hand, hoping the orthopedic will have some good news for me when i go back for my second visit next week (hand was to swollen to examine monday morning).

regardless of experience, skill, judgement, etc., accidents happen. we are all aware of the dangers and risks of our sport (i believe this is what makes it attractive to many of us - otherwise we would all be at bush gardens riding roller coasters). with that said, we should uphold safety as a paramount concern to reduce these risks. i think sbrs should spend more time discussing safety and mandating safety protocalls / equiptment to ensure the safest possible envirnoment. just like helmets, hans devices and arm straps should be required. often we dont recogonize the importance of these until we experience a situation that makes us realize otherwise.

new drivers that dont have the experience to know better should be made aware of the benifits of these devices, before their experience catches up w/ them. sbrs should mandate their use and provide rentals for those that dont have their own. we all know the expenses of our sport, but often neglict the value of our health and safety.
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Old 02-28-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

i was just wondering which HANS device people were using. i'm about to order one and wasn't sure if there was much of a difference between the Economy or the Pro. They say the difference is about 4-6 ounces. What have most people selected in SBRS?

Also, does anyone use the 30° for sports car racing? They recomend a 20° on their site and i wanted to know if it makes much of a difference.
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  #41  
Old 02-28-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedbac

I use the economy model 30. It looks to me like the 20 is recommended for significantly different seating than the Skippy cars
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  #42  
Old 02-28-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

You'll never feel the minor difference in weight from the Pro model to the Economy model so don't waste your money. Even HANS doesn't suggest it unless money is no object.

There is no safety or performance difference between the Economy & Pro models.

The 30 model is the right one for the Skippy cars. I don't know how much flexibility there is in adapting to different car types or classes as I've never tried it. (I believe the model number denotes the seat angle. Model 30 = a 30 degree seat angle)
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  #43  
Old 03-19-2005
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Try it... you'll like it. Or maybe not.

The Grand Am series requires a HANS device, so I borrowed MacDod's. I wore it on the test day and in the race. The race found me in the car for nearly an hour and a half. The HANS was fine. No discomfort. Barely knew it was there.

So, I went to Laguna and decided to test the HANS in a Skippy car. I HATED it. I hated every minute of life strapped into a car with a HANS. I can't believe no one else has complained about this before.

At first, I cranked down on the harnesses so hard that the HANS really dug into my shoulders. It was brutal. So painful in fact, that my arms started to get numb. It was bad before I left the pits, but I figured that like so many other factors (cold, heat, hunger, an urge to pee, etc) it would go away while I was on the track. No such luck.

On the second stint, I tightened the belts just enough that the HANS didn't hurt. After a few laps, the belts slid off the device. Since this was as good as wearing nothing, I came in and had the mechanics strap me down again. The pain was back and I struggled to finish the session.

Next, someone told me the trick was to cross the shoulder harness buckles where they connect to the anti-submarine belt. Thinking this would help, I again tried to keep the belts "just tight enough". The damn things slipped off again.

1 last try... criss cross the harnesses and crank down. Ouch, I swear this was the most uncomfortable thing I have done to my body in a race car.

BTW... I tried pulling the "legs" all the way down in the front, pushing them all the way back, and one or two steps in between. None of this worked.

I raced in the D-cel. I still love it. Say what you like about the foolish looks. That isn't the point. Say that NASCAR has banned the D-cel... in actuality their press release said they just haven't approved it.... they plan to test it in the future. Besides, we don't do 200mph. HANS' own tests show the D-cel to reduce loads to below injury threshold.

Add to that, the stabilization of the neck during normal driving and side impacts, and you have a winner. A few posts above give the HANS credit for helping in side impacts. Sorry guys, ask HANS, they only protect you against front loading.

Will I try it again? Sure. Why not. But if it performs the same way... I'll stick with my D-cel.

In the meantime, I'd welcome advice or input from anyone that has suggestions. I'll also have both devices at VIR... I wouldn't mind continuing this "conversation" in person.
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Last edited by MJAmok; 03-19-2005 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 03-19-2005
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Adjust your HANS properly!

If you are going to wear the damn thing, take a few minutes and learn how to properly adjust it.

I had an experienced Skippy instructor tell me at Laguna that I had too much slack in my tethers. I adjusted it the way he suggested. This left 4" of length between the neck upright and the helmet connection.

I then asked a few drivers who clearly had much more slack. They said they had "heard" that it was ok to have a lot of slack, and that the devices come properly adjusted on delivery.

To get the ultimate answer, I called HANS and researched their website this weekend. The site suggests 6" of tether between the upright and the helmet. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

On the phone, I was informed by someone in the technical dept, who claimed to speak to the inventor while I was on the phone. He said they now recommend 5". The measurement should be from the edge of the neck upright on the device and the center of the helmet connection bolt. He said that they are comfortable allowing up to 1" of leeway for personal preference.

PLEASE don't take my word for this. If you wear a HANS, call them and hear it for yourself. Make sure that I interpreted the info properly, and that my info is up-to-date. Whatever you do... make sure you use the thing appropriately, or you might as well not wear it at all.
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Old 03-20-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Though we've kidded you mercilessly about your D-Cell Michael, you've clearly gone the extra mile in seeking an answer to having the HANS work for you.

My only question would be, were you using the 30 model (which is the degree of decline said to be optimal for skippy cars) for your test at Laguna? I would assume you were. Since it worked fine in the Porche but not the Skippy car, it sounds like the recline of the RT and your particular shoulder slope or body structure is not a good match. There is also a 20 model recommended for Formula Fords... wonder if that might not dig into you so much?

All of your points about researching strap length and fit issues are well taken and important.

At the other end of the spectrum. I ran 2 lapping sessions, a practice day and 3 races at Sebring with my HANS and never had a problem. I like the way the device secures me in the car under the straps and had no belt slippage or pain where it presses my body.
I always ask a mechanic for a visual check that the straps are over the device properly even though I'm now confident that I'm getting it right. Other drivers have put hardware store non-skid strips on their HANS to make the belts less prone to slippage but that hasn't been an issure for me.

I think you nicely make the point that we're all different and there may be different paths to both safety and comfort. The responsibility ultimately lies with each of us.
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Old 03-20-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Michael,

Truth be told the HANS is a misery in the Skippy car if;

1. your chest is bigger than a size 40 and/or
2. the top of your shoulders are ABOVE the seat belt anchors in the car.

both allow for belt travel (especially after a lap or two at speed) that the yoke on the HANS device can't tolerate - causing them slip off. Guys have tried velcro, bungee cords, and even taping channels on the outside of the yoke to keep the belts centered on top of the chest portion of the yoke. But I wouldn't recommend any of those techniques as they impead your ability to quickly exit the car. I used Sy to help. He would cinch me into the car like a white-tailed deer strapped to the roof rack of a '74 Grand Cherokee. The bad news was my eyes would water from the pain but the good news was the tears kept my contact lens from drying out.

But worst of all is if your Skippy seat is all the way to the back of the cockpit. The HANS upright behind your helmet doesn't have enough room and makes contact with the rollbar frame and pushes your head forward in a sensation much like being facemasked by Ty Law. The really bad news is it's hard to keep your head up. Your eyes naturally drift down into the cockpit (aptly named) and you find yourself starting at your groin - which is actually the good news because when you hit the wall head on you will be able to kiss your balls goodbye alot easier - hense the benefit of the HANS device.
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Old 03-20-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Mac D... you crack me up, as always!

Glad to hear I am not the only one with difficulty. You mention seat position, maybe the seat I use in the Skippy car was/is the problem?! Maybe it puts me into the wrong position. Hmmm...

Yes, DD it is a 30, not a 20. The 20 is what would be recommended for the Porsche, though the 30 didn't bother me there.

Donald, since you and I are the only ones having issues (or at least the only ones willing to admit it), and since I am using YOUR device, is it possible it is a defect in that unit?! I'll see if I can try someone elses on in Va. I doubt it, but am willing to try almost anything. You know how I hate it when the other kids tease me about my D-cel (yeah, right...).

Finally, I agree, most mods are an "accident waiting to happen", literally. Although, the non skid seams like it couldn't hurt.
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Old 03-20-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

I've helped many a customer feel more comfortable with their HANS devicees in the Formula Dodge. Here's what I have observed over the years:

1. If you are taller, you will have a harder time getting comfortable and keeping the belts from slipping off. How tall is "taller"? Depends on your build. The shorter drivers seem to get a good fit. I am 5'8'' and the belts hold to my HANS very well. Never slipped off once.

2. I like how the HANS bolts me to the car better than belts alone, but that feeling will vary from person to person.

3. I've notcied drivers not tightening their belts tight enough, with or without HANS. I've walked the line during race weekends and realigned and retightened customers belts endless times. Sometimes they just don't realize it could be tighter. I teach them how. Safefy first.

4. If your belts slip, as you get strapped in, be sure that with each tug you pull on the shoulder belts, you also reach up and slide the top of the shoulder belt closer to your neck. Tug, slide, tug, slide, tug, slide, tug hard. That should help.

5. Once you are on track, on a long straight away, tug the belts again (most of you already do this).

6. I also do not recommend any "add ons" or "mods" to the HANS. No velcro, no clips, belts, whatever. The system must function as designed.

My $0.02
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Old 03-21-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Revere (5'9") and I (5'11") have been using the HANS for 5 years. After getting both devices with the wider yoke - the numbering system has changed as ours are 6s or 7s - have had no trouble with shoulder harness slipping off, even before the shoulder harness anchors were moved about an inch toward car center. Far more comfortable with HANS than without (ran one enduro without) and Sebring no longer abrades shoulders.

On strap length, make your decision based on HANS advice, but from my understanding of college physics, shorter straps means shorter travel and shorter distance for the helmet and head to accelerate before the device stops forward motion. Our straps are 4" long. The only limitation is side rotation and we can see plenty with 4" straps - and more sudden rotation is also a twist I'd rather avoid.

Getting bolted in, try tightening shoulder harness, then pulling head forward to rotate HANS forward, then tightening again, then repeat. Bobo's right about retightening on straights as harness with our without HANS sure get loose.

My approach when actually using the HANS: before crashing head on, I get my head forward to the length of the straps so there's no snap when the hit happens. Problem with my approach - having also to remember what to do with my hands and saying "Shit" all at the same time. Rationale: head more important than hands. Revere, being younger, has managed head and hands well when he's used his HANS.
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Old 03-21-2005
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Re: An Open Letter to Skip Barber Regarding HANS devices - Please Vote & Give Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerardo
1. If you are taller, you will have a harder time getting comfortable and keeping the belts from slipping off. How tall is "taller"? Depends on your build. The shorter drivers seem to get a good fit. I am 5'8'' and the belts hold to my HANS very well. Never slipped off once.

2. I like how the HANS bolts me to the car better than belts alone, but that feeling will vary from person to person.

3. I've notcied drivers not tightening their belts tight enough, with or without HANS. I've walked the line during race weekends and realigned and retightened customers belts endless times. Sometimes they just don't realize it could be tighter. I teach them how. Safefy first.

4. If your belts slip, as you get strapped in, be sure that with each tug you pull on the shoulder belts, you also reach up and slide the top of the shoulder belt closer to your neck. Tug, slide, tug, slide, tug, slide, tug hard. That should help.

5. Once you are on track, on a long straight away, tug the belts again (most of you already do this).
I agree with Bobo. I've spent a lot of time helping drivers get in their cars, and I'm constantly surprised by how loosely most drivers tighten their belts, with or without HANS devices.

Most seem to think that they've put on their belts tightly, but I can usually pull inches of slack away from their hips and chest. Some seem to have given minimal effort in pulling them tight (maybe because they think they should be wearing their race seatbelts as tight as the belts are on their Benz when they drive to get a manicure), yet others tug and pull on the seat belt strap, and it just doesn't tighten any more. When I show them how to rock it side to side and pull on it, the belt just keeps tightening and tightening. That usually keeps the belts on the HANS firmly, and also lets the harness do it's regular job.

For the most part, I think that once someone has learned how to put on their belts properly, the belts stay in place on a HANS device. The only exception to this has been a few guys who are really tall (like Donald), who need to take a little extra time in tightening and aligning belts. For those guys, however, the HANS issue is less important of an issue than is 'roll hoop height', and the way the roll hoops are covered (they're not - that's the problem), which may cause an injury situation on roll over. But that's a different story.

I've also never heard of anyone saying their HANS device was uncomfortable. After using it, most drivers prefer the way it feel, and others just find it to be transparent.
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