Do you use a containment seat?


#1

Containment seats add to the safety…but they also require a support on the back to the cage, make ingress/egress harder than it already is, and if not the exact right size, either block some of the peripheral vision or don’t provide the intended protection.

There are lots of models. US aluminum ones. Imported fiberglass and carbon fiber. Some can be ordered custom sized, some only in stock sizes.

Does you car have containment seat and if so, which one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtG3Z4pVOKY


#2

A lot of us have containment seats, most of them being CF, not AL. Acceptance of the latter has been slowed by their lack of FIA certification. I’m not quite sure how we got fixated on FIA seats vs. SFI seats. I think tho that the few of us that have sturdy (SFI certified) AL seats have helped encourage others to look at AL.

Income limited newbies often come in with non-halo seats, but after a year or two they often decide to suck it up and upgrade to a halo seat. Folks renting cars are probably wary of halo seats because a renter might have problems seeing around the halo.

I bought my halo seat in early '11. In the months prior of research, most racers with halos told me that I should expect to lose my peripheral vision with a halo and that it was just a matter of getting used to using my mirrors. That kinda cooled my jets on the halo idea. Ultimately I got the Kirkey that you saw on fb so I can see thru my halo. I bet tho that some of that “you will lose your peripheral vision” idea still exists and that slows down upgrades to halo seats. Folks need to learn that if the halo seat fits correctly, you don’t lose your peripheral vision.

My very first race with the halo seat, this was Summer '11, I went into a tirewall sideways. There was enough lateral force on my helmet that my HANS fastener pulled right out of my helmet when it’s threads stripped. I was quite pleased to have the halo keep my head fastened to my neck/shoulders. We would figure out later that my Impact helmet had come with counterfeit HANS hardware. I’ll never forgive Impact for that.


#3

The FIA has two standards. FIA 8855-1999 (https://www.fia.com/file/9849/download/9109?token=TSVyGG_r) has a minimal test with the criteria the seat doesn’t break. It is what all the <$1000 seats and most of the others are certified for.

The FIA 8862-2009 (http://www.fia.com/file/34445/download/9152?token=KwaU6Uir) and SFI 39.1 (required in NASCAR top series, www.sfifoundation.com/wp-content/pdfs/specs/Spec_39.1_031615.pdf) have a test that applies a force in the seat against its side…over 100g equivalent for the head…hold it for a period of seconds and require a deflection of less than .5in/SFI 40-80mm/FIA. I don’t know of any seat less than $2100 that passes either test. The video shows a seat in the FIA test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCNQlv5G7ww

The FIA 8859-2015 standard (and the very expensive FIA 8860-2010 standard) include tests for head restraint threads. The Snell SA2015 does not. Most helmets comply and as your unscheduled test shows you have to rely on the manufacturers and their certifications.

Since 8859 is close to SA2015 many manufacturers are making dual certification helmets, but generally more expensive. Zamp should have an RZ-35 with both for under $300 in May. They aren’t FIA certifying the RZ-42, but the RZ-44C will be available with both for an upcharge.

The cheapest 8860 is around $2000 (Simpson), Bells is $3500, Stilo $5000, and Schuberth around $10,000.


#4

In the case of my helmet, Impact got their ass in a sling over playing fast and loose with certs. This was 2010-2012, IIRC. They were sewing cert labels into suits made of non-fire resistant cloth, putting non-hardened HANS hardware into helmet, etc. Turned out I had one of those helmets. The real victims were the few folks that got burned before Impact was forced to recall their gear.

BTW, that’s great cert info you’ve put into this thread.


#5

Coming originally from the motorcycle world, I believe strongly in the idea that you only buy a $10 helmet if you have a $10 head. I trust, from personal experience, Arai helmets. When I decided to get into the whole E30 scene and buy a car for HPDE, I ended up buying an entry-level Stilo, the ST-5 GT, with top air, radio and water, which seems universally regarded as a good helmet, and it fits very well for me. I hope to never test it, but your experience reinforces even more for me the idea that I will likely never get a budget helmet. Too much riding on it.

And David, to answer your RFI more directly, I have a Sparco Ergo L in my car, which is a composite seat with removable containment wings. The seat is not explicitly designed for back mounting to the cage, like the RaceTech 4119WTHR I originally intended to pursue, but I have plans to do that mounting myself, using the RaceTech clamps and a custom aluminum L-bracket.


#6

[quote=“HiFiGuy” post=83182]Coming originally from the motorcycle world, I believe strongly in the idea that you only buy a $10 helmet if you have a $10 head. I trust, from personal experience, Arai helmets. When I decided to get into the whole E30 scene and buy a car for HPDE, I ended up buying an entry-level Stilo, the ST-5 GT, with top air, radio and water, which seems universally regarded as a good helmet, and it fits very well for me. I hope to never test it, but your experience reinforces even more for me the idea that I will likely never get a budget helmet. Too much riding on it.

[/quote]
If you are suggesting that my helmet was a cheapee, would not agree that Impact helmets during that period were “budget” helmets. The problem was that Impact decided to violate it’s SFI agreement and use inferior materials, and to hell with the safety of their customers.


#7

I honestly don’t know anything about Impact as a helmet manufacturer, and hadn’t heard of them at all before I read their name in your comments, though your experience doesn’t put them in a good light. I was making a general statement, more about erring on the side of known GREAT quality helmets, or really any safety equipment, like harnesses, seats, fire systems, etc. upon which our lives might depend. Incidentally, your remarks about Impact’s seeming lack of business ethics only goes to reinforce my point of sticking with KNOWN GOOD manufacturers who are beyond reproach on certain items like helmets, and fire suits, etc.

The “$10 head” comment was flippant, but hey, if the helmet fits… :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

In all seriousness, you know I don’t have near the deepest pockets in this endeavor, but some things are worth doing full stop. Other things, hey, I am all in for a bargain. E.g. I just bought 8 well-used Toyo RR tires for a total of $160 from Rob Eskew, and that dude hooked me up with four more slightly more sketchy ones for free! So I am all about a bargain for stuff like that whenever I can get one. Just not life safety items, as a philosophy.

That’s why I am using Joel Barber to build my cage, and assemble my car. I have been through a bit of a wringer, as you know, in the car buying/prep process, and I feel like Joel is a top-notch guy, with tremendous attention to detail, who understands what we do, since he races himself, and doesn’t cut corners on important items that could hurt someone on track.

Sorry for the OT, but it’s sort of germane to the safety equipment discussion, at least.


#8

An F1 helmet can cost $25k with custom shell. The consumer versions, still FIA 8860-2010 certified, range from $3.5k (Bell) to $10k+. The Stilo ST5 GT comes in quite a few models: ST5 GT Zero ($5k), ST5 GT Carbon ($1900), and ST5 GT Composite ($900).

The comment about ‘$5 head’ is also used on the Ferrari forum about $10k Schuberth.

There are financial considerations in all parts of an SE30. Fuel cell? No, because the cage doesn’t cover the rear of the car to protect the cell and no one makes a custom sell to fit the stock location straddling the driveshaft. One could be custom made, but no one has.

The containment seat fits the same issue. Without a containment seat there is nothing to prevent injury laterally. The net is obviously a placebo.

This is an interesting article: ESPN, Experts: Headrest might have saved Leffler .


#9

Well, obviously it’s a relative concept, but hopefully you are able to glean the point. :slight_smile: My composite ST-5 GT, after options, is about $1200, which I think is kinda pricey, but worth it because it fits properly and is built to a very high standard. That’s what matters to me.


#10

This is the link to the analysis of the Leffler crash: http://www.espn.com/racing/nascar/nationwide/story/_/id/9407098/experts-headrest-saved-jason-leffler


#11

Good article, @DavidNJ. Do you have a fitment guide for halo seats? Things like where the top edge of the halo should be relative to your eye level, etc. I have two seats in my car now, with a current Sparco Ergo L on the driver’s side, and a non-current RaceTech 4119WHR on the passenger’s side. I was sitting in the RaceTech on and off while I was fiddling around with my fire system and installing the passenger belts, and realized I like that I can see slightly over the top of the halo on that seat, enough for decent peripheral vision, whereas I cannot do that well on my driver’s seat. All else being equal, I would prefer the height of the RaceTech. It’s enough that I am considering swapping the seats after the Sparco expires, and just bracing the back to the cage with RaceTech’s kit to make it current again.


#12

You can see how the F1, IndyCar, and NASCAR guys do it by looking at pictures from recent races. Kirkey, who offers custom seats and whose head restraints have a little for/aft and height adjustment says this in their 88-series instructions:

“Ideally you want the head restraint positioned level with the driver’s cheekbone, (see photo #3). With the seat cover installed, have the driver look to the left and to the right to ensure that their peripheral vision is not obstructed.”

These are pictures from their 88 series (about $850) and 73 series (about $1300) installation guides:


88%20series%20installation%20guide%20(1)


#13

Thank you. That’s intuitive, but I very much appreciate the confirmation.


#14

I bought a Sparco Ergo the week after we had two totals that ended with healthy drivers. They each had a good cage and a halo seat.
Sold that seat when I sold Cale and put an OMP HTE-R into Magda. Totaled her at T9 SPIR. Not even any soreness, totally healthy. Seat is now in Bruce. I’ll never race without one again.