I all, i have stared building a mini for the Scottish classic and sports cars. All is going well but i have a question..... Can anyone explain how the dates on race suits, helmets, harnesses etc work? I had thought ten years from manufacture was the maximum life but looking at some peoples race suites they look a lot older!
Hi Alex, Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is the following -
Helmet - It needs to comply with the latest 2011 helmet regulations as stated in the MSA Blue Book. As long as it complies there is no expiry date for it's use (or until they change the rules again!)
Suit - as long as it carries the FIA 8856-2000 label, and as long as it isn't damaged or completely knackered looking it will be ok for club racing for as long as you want to use it (or until the rules change)
Harnesses - these will have an expiry date stitched into them and they have to be in date.
Seat - Although many seats have expiry dates, these would only apply for use in FIA sanctioned events. For club racing, as long as they are secure and in good visible condition, they'll be fine.
Extinguisher - as long as the pressure gauge shows a healthy reading it'll be ok. It won't do any harm to have a recent service sticker on t however.
Hope that helps, Greg
XR2 now gone...... but as an Austrian once said "I'll be back!"
Greg is spot on. How long seats and extinguishers remain 'free' is anyone's guess. The MSA seem hell bent on moving all of their rules toward the FIA rules for reasons best known to themselves, I think it's only a matter of time before we need in date FIA approved seats and extinguishers. I think it's something to do with simplifying the rules and bringing us into line with other countries, sod it if they're so far removed from the sport that they don't realise the cost to us wee club competitors means quite an outlay every year on something that quite probably is in perfectly serviceable condition. The last change of lid rules meant I had to replace a less than year old helmet as it wasn't fire-proof. C'mon, what's the risk there? Fair enough if dozens of guys were getting their coupon's burnt every year and a fireproof lid lining would have prevented it...but sorry I've not heard of any cases and can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a car go on fire in 20 years of motorsport.
Come Jan 1st, my harness is out of date. Nowt wrong with it, it hasn't rotted over the 5 years it's been in the car and dry stored in the garage. Mice haven't eaten it, it doesn't biodegrade, the buckle still works perfectly, the metal bits aren't rusting away, yet if I want to do just one race next year I can add 150 quid onto my weekend for a new harness.
That said, if you can get decent kit second hand or free...worry about the replacement cost if/when the MSA change the rules....again.
As far as I know there's no expiry on helmets provided they meet the existing MSA regulations. If you want to save a few quid on the initial outlay, you can get cheap ones from Plays-kool or racelidz. About 140 quid or so for a Snell 2005 lid, that'll be in date for as long as the dear ones from Demon Tweeks, GP Racewear etc.
Can't recall reading it in any of the MSA news publications throughout the year. The MSA website is usually the best place for this information, I've had a wee look and still can't find anything. Perhaps you'll need to make a phone call, or we need to wait till we get the 2012 regs.
Will be interesting to find out if this is the case. I think this year is the 5 year anniversary of the 5 year rule, which means everyone woh didn't have an in-date belt at the time had to buy a new one.