You know what the weakest part of a race car is?
The squidgy organic bit sat behind the wheel. Seriously, the human body is a fascinating thing, but one thing it can’t withstand is high-speed deceleration. There are many ways crashing a car can kill or seriously injure you, and as such, we at the BDC mandate a lot of safety gear for our drivers, including helmets, six-point harnesses, race boots, gloves and flame-retardent overalls.
One of the biggest changes that has been made in the Championship in the past few years is the introduction of the HANS device. HANS (short for Head And Neck Support) devices are designed to prevent basilar skull fracture (essentially, snapping your head off your neck). How these happen is quite simple. When you hit something solid at an acute angle, the rapid deceleration coupled with the additional weight of your helmet and the fact your body does not move as it is strapped into the harness, your head moves extremely rapidly away from your body.
Drivers who have died of a basilar skull fracture over the years include prolific NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt Sr, Neil Bonnett and Adam Petty. No driver in motorsport wants to add his name to that list.
This is why a HANS device is an extremely bright idea for any car driven in a competitive environment. Safety is the most important aspect in motorsport, which is why we are pleased to have Simpson Europe as a sponsor.
Simpson Europe is the manufacturer of the BDC’s recommended HANS device, and it is one you will see worn by almost all of our drivers. Simpson Europe is also one of the biggest suppliers of all aspects of motorsport safety gear. From harnesses to helmets, gloves to race boots, window nets to roll-cage padding. Simpson Europe even stock car-to-pit intercom systems and fresh air supply!
Simpson safety gear is a popular choice around the BDC grid, with many drivers rocking helmets emblazoned with the famous red-and-white logo.
Pro driver Stu Jones is a man who’s ten-tenths driving style means his safety equipment is extremely important. Stu is always rocking a ton of Simpson safety gear when he jumps behind the wheel of his incredible V8 turbo S14.
“It’s really high-quality gear. It feels comfortable too, which is something that you have to think about because you spend a lot of time wearing it. But most crucially, when you’re wearing it, you feel safe. And that’s needed if you want to perform!” – Stu Jones
In motorsport, the one thing never to be skimped on is safety equipment. So do yourself a favour and pick up some quality gear from the folks over at Simpson. Because you never know, it just might save your life.