January Minutes

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Dietmar
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January Minutes

Post by Dietmar »

The FV Ad Hoc Committee met on January 23
Members attending: Alex Bertolucci, Steve Oseth, Stevan Davis, Bruce Livermore, Phil Holcomb, John Petillo, Stephen Saslow, Dietmar Bauerle

During our last meeting in November the subject of head surround padding became a discussion item. It was noted that the rules in FV did not allow for any removable device which would hamper the driver’s exit from the vehicle. This discussion was initiated because a member had requested allowing some form of head surround , yet was told by SCCA that the rules were adequate as written.

A member of the CRB has suggested that the Committee continue this discussion and explore the possibility of allowing head surround padding in light of the incident that occurred at Sebring a few weeks ago. The Committee is in complete agreement that some sort of device would be advantageous, and should NOT be prohibited. The major obstacle is the current rule that states that the driver must be able to exit without the removal or manipulation of any part or panel to exit the vehicle. In other classes where head protection is allowed, the crew or a safety working may assist in the removal of a head surround device, yet if left only to the driver , the device might be ruined in an attempt to exit the vehicle. A question arose as to how does one write a rule and enforce that rule where a test of a safety device would necessitate destroying that device. The other concern is that the device should serve its intended purpose as a safety feature for the driver and not as an aerodynamic benefit ( presumed or actual)

The Ad Hoc Committee will be working on a rule change which will allow head surround and present it to the CRB for consideration. The Committee will also continue working on a proposal to add text within the FV ruleset to clarify what bodywork should be for an FV.

No other items were presented or discussed
Next meeting scheduled for February 27
brian
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Joined: June 26th, 2006, 12:31 pm

Re: January Minutes

Post by brian »

Designing a device that could be removed by a driver shouldn't be that dificult. We do not ahve a cockpit opening rule like other formula cars and that presents many challenges as well. I personally have designed my cars so that I can get out if the car is inverted. Our class has several models that do not provide this opportunity for the driver. Maybe you guys can discuss that issue as well.
The above post is for reference only and your results may vary. This post is not intended to reflect the views or opinions of SCCA and should not be considered an analysis or opinion of the rules written in the GCR.
FV80
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Re: January Minutes

Post by FV80 »

Brian, I agree with your points - specifically getting out if inverted. However, it is quite difficult to TEST such an exit and moderately so to even "imagine" such an exit and the problems involved depending on the 'ground surface at stop'. Going even further it would be essentially IMPOSSIBLE to write a rule to facilitate such a combination of possible situations. HOWEVER, we could certainly write a RECOMMENDATION that the driver/builder should CONSIDER such situations during the build process. I have thought a good bit about it (inverted exit) in light of head surrounds - specifically those that hinge at either the front or rear. If the car is inverted, those surrounds can easily become TRAPS. Therefore, the logical progression is that the surround should be 'structurally sound'.. and at the same time somewhat easily DESTROYED by a conscious driver or attentive support person if the need arises. An extreme requirement, yes... but should be seriously considering during rules construction. We will be looking at all possibilities and are open to input from the membership.

Steve, FV80 - member FVAHC
The Racer's Wedge and now a Vortech, FV80
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problemchild
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Joined: June 25th, 2006, 9:34 am

Re: January Minutes

Post by problemchild »

It must be 10 years ago, that I submitted a rule request that all new FVs being built must be built to the FIA cockpit opening rules, just as every other SCCA formula class is (and has been for almost 30 years). Head surround systems and driver entry issues would be accommodated much better with a proper sized cockpit opening. My request was overwhelmingly rejected with no discussion.
Its just too late for this stuff. The time was 25-30 years ago when FV was the biggest class in SCCA and could handle safety and cost control changes. We're here now because there are too many people with their heads up their butts. We don't do "change" in this class. If you want a car with side protection, reasonable cockpit entry, and head surround .... then change classes ..... you'll probably run in the same group anyway :twisted:
The only changes allowed are when our supposed leadership (who oppose any and all cost-cutting suggestions) introduce stupid expensive add-ons that exploit poorly written, but previously respected, rules. We then worship them as we waste time and money building our own stupid add-ons :roll: Pay attention guys!
Greg Rice
"Happy 50th Birthday"
brian
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Joined: June 26th, 2006, 12:31 pm

Re: January Minutes

Post by brian »

Or, you can do like I did and build a car that conforms with your personal standards of safety as long as they meet or exceed the rule books. No one is forcing you to be in a car you don't think is safe.
The above post is for reference only and your results may vary. This post is not intended to reflect the views or opinions of SCCA and should not be considered an analysis or opinion of the rules written in the GCR.
problemchild
Posts: 902
Joined: June 25th, 2006, 9:34 am

Re: January Minutes

Post by problemchild »

brian wrote:Or, you can do like I did and build a car that conforms with your personal standards of safety as long as they meet or exceed the rule books. No one is forcing you to be in a car you don't think is safe.
How competitive would my 1175 lb car with side pods be?
Greg Rice
"Happy 50th Birthday"
smsazzy
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Joined: June 24th, 2006, 5:56 pm

Re: January Minutes

Post by smsazzy »

Fill them with helium. :-)
Stephen Saslow
FV 09 NWR
hardingfv32-1
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Re: January Minutes

Post by hardingfv32-1 »

[quote="FV80" specifically getting out if inverted. However, it is quite difficult to TEST such an exit and moderately so to even "imagine" such an exit and the problems involved depending on the 'ground surface at stop'. Going even further it would be essentially IMPOSSIBLE to write a rule to facilitate such a combination of possible situations. HOWEVER, we could certainly write a RECOMMENDATION that the driver/builder should CONSIDER such situations during the build process. I have thought a good bit about it (inverted exit) in light of head surrounds - specifically those that hinge at either the front or rear. If the car is inverted, those surrounds can easily become TRAPS. Therefore, the logical progression is that the surround should be 'structurally sound'.. and at the same time somewhat easily DESTROYED by a conscious driver or attentive support person if the need arises. An extreme requirement, yes... but should be seriously considering during rules construction. We will be looking at all possibilities and are open to input from the membership.[/quote]

It is way beyond the FV Committee's skill set to do any of the above. You should limit yourself to changing the the body manipulation rule and possibly limiting aero benefits. The design, padding, or other safety aspects of a head surround system belong in the general car safety section of the GCR.

1) In that regard, ask yourself why SCCA does not have any rules pertaining to the design, padding, or other safety aspects of head surround systems?

2) Why is it that none of the sanctioning bodies that have head surround systems, from F1 down to club racers have ANY concern about these systems trapping the driver? Could it be that you guys have prioritized the risks of this situation incorrectly? Again, it is out side your skill set.

Brian
brian
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Joined: June 26th, 2006, 12:31 pm

Re: January Minutes

Post by brian »

Not to start a big thread but:

1. SCCA strongly recommends that SFI approved material be used for padding and recognizes other authorities, like SFI & FIA, on specific issues.

2. Unlike club racing, the pros often have a lot more staffing in the pits and on the track, to assist drivers in and out of cars.

Brian does bring up a very good point regarding single hoop roll bars and soft ground. Production cars went to the full width cage in response to this issue. Formula cars escaped scrutiny because of their reduced weight but could probably have benefited from some improvements.

I must confess my concerns about getting out of the car carry over from the days when fire was more prevalent. I understand that many issues regarding safety cannot be determined empirically so the final decision is really with the competitor or builder. My car's body includes side head protection that does not need to be removed for exit and the cockpit opening is much larger than the portholes on some cars. Unfortunately, I have exited by car while in the inverted position a couple of times so I know my situation works.
The above post is for reference only and your results may vary. This post is not intended to reflect the views or opinions of SCCA and should not be considered an analysis or opinion of the rules written in the GCR.
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