Safety 101 or FAQ's
FinishLine has QM legal BRAKE LINES and FULL PEDALS.
"IMPORTANT NEWS for the 2007 QM racing season from QMA"
National QMA Meeting Highlights rule changes for 2007
here to read all 2007 changes)
** Brake Line – No plastic break line allowed. Effective April 1, 2007.
** Full brake pedal or positive heel stop is mandatory to prevent the
foot from pushing through the pedal. Reasoning: Proactive step in reducing
broken left legs. 5 broken in 2006. 1 in 2005, 4 in 2004. Passed.
Finishline has these (click
** Disclaimer: The following sheets of information were prepared with the
best technical information obtainable. However, racing is a dangerous enterprise
and no responsibility can be taken by the persons writing these articles, the
parent corporation, or any person or persons, any company or organization or
their assigns associated with FinishLine Racing School for injury sustained as a
result of or in spite of following the suggestions and or procedures offered
Life saving equipment is readily available to all drivers. Today, sanctioning
bodies make safety equipment mandatory. Drivers are now safer at racing speeds
than ever before. However, there is a “fly in the ointment.” One of the
realities of racing on a budget is that racing apparel and safety equipment is
considered a necessary evil. So, everyone thinks” just buy whatever is the least
you can get by with.” WRONG!
Safety equipment MUST be put on the top of your priority list. As the old saying
goes,”a $5.00 helmet for a $5.00 head,” well, what exactly is your head worth?
Never try to use a motorcycle helmet or a helmet that is more than three years
old. Always dry your helmet in natural air - clean with mild soap or baking soda
and treat it with respect. Remember, that “brain bucket” may be the only thing
between life and death in the event of a serious accident.
What about a crash that involves helmet impact? The answer is simple.
THE OUTER SHELL
Look For SA Rating (inside helmet)
Old = Say's 90 or 95 "TOO OLD DO NOT USE"
New = Say's 2000 or 2005
M = Motorcycle - don't use "Nylon Liner"
The job of the hard outer shell is to distribute the load generated by impact
over as much of its surface as possible, and to resist the penetration of sharp
objects into the helmet interior. In some accidents the forces generated may be
great enough to fracture or split the shell. When this happens the shell
momentarily becomes and energy absorber, eating up “g” forces as it is destroyed
by the force of the blow.
THE INNER SHELL
The function of the inner liner is to absorb as much of the energy transmitted
through the shell as possible. Typically, the best energy absorbing material is
one which is “non-resilient,” one that does not bounce back rapidly after
impact. This material is crushed by the force of the blow, absorbing energy as
it crushes. The amount the inner liner crushes is determined by the amount of
the force applied, AND, how good a job the shell did in dispersing it.
This is important because the better the shell disperses the force the more
energy absorbing material will be involved, and the more energy absorbing
material involved, the more energy which can be absorbed. In a well engineered
helmet these components work together to form a finely tuned energy management
THE RETENTION SYSTEM
The force spreading and energy absorbing functions of the outer shell and inner
liner mean very little if the helmet is not held in place on your head when you
need it. That’s the job of the retention system, or chin strap as it is more
The retention system should be securely attached to the helmet in such a way and
in a location which will prevent the helmet from inadvertently coming off. When
wearing a helmet always be sure that the strap is tightly fastened under the
chin as far back against the throat as possible. Never wear a helmet with the
strap loosely fastened, or unfastened altogether
A GOOD FIT
A good fit is a member of the helmet performance team which is sometimes
overlooked. Some people equate a loose fit with a comfortable fit. A loose
fitting helmet can negate the contributions of the other team members by
allowing the helmet to move excessively on the head during the violent movements
we are subjected to in an accident. And if very loose, it can result in the
helmet being ejected from the head even with the strap tightly fastened.
A good fit is achieved when the helmet fits so snugly that the skin on our
forehead moves as the helmet moves, without being so tight as to be painful.
Technically, a good fit is important in order to minimize helmet movement.
Optimum performance can only be achieved when the helmet is held as near
stationary on the head as possible during the impact.
Simply said “you take a hard hit to the head ‑ your helmet is junk”. Send your
helmet back for X-ray.
All Helmet manufacturers’ offer free inspection and help to all racers who uses
their products. The bottom line is, if the helmet has been impacted, do not take
a risk. Get a new helmet.
Any of their single layer firesuits that meet SF-I ratings will give you roughly
3‑4 seconds before a second degree burn. Most of their 2 layer suits will give
roughly 7.5 seconds before the second degree burn. However, a new “Future Suit”
of 2 layers gives roughly 11 seconds. These suits meet SFI‑3 and the new Future
Suit meets SFI-5. A 3 layer suit also meets SFI‑5 and offers roughly 14.5
seconds of protection to second degree burns.
Never substitute Nomex underwear for a layer of Firesuit. Nomex underwear is
only 1/4 effective as a layer. (1 layer firesuit + Nomex = 1 1/4 that’s not
Watch: A) Gas & Oil on Firesuit C) Proban VS. Nomex B) How many times you
wash D) Length of Wear & Tear
SFI PRODUCT RATING
Specification 3-2A (1,3,5,10,15,20)
3-2A 1, 3 and 5 – no recertification necessary
3-2A 10, 15 and 20 – recertify every 5 years (dated tags, manufacturer
SFI TESTING REQUIREMENTS
Tests fire retardant properties.
Rated based on the garment’s TPP (Thermal Protective Performance) to both direct
flame and radiant heat.
TOP is the product of exposure heat flux and exposure time and is used to
measure the time between exposure to heat source and second degree burn
MINIMUM TPP VALUE
MINIMUM TIME TO 2ND DEGREE BURN
GLOVES, SHOES, AND UNDERGARMENTS
For SCCA type racers of gasoline engines, 1 or 2 layer Nomex gloves provide
substantial protection. Nomex gloves should always be used for drag racing or
racing where fuels are other than standard gasoline, 2‑3 layer gloves are
The Nomex shoes sold are available in assorted colors and provide the driver
with great “pedal feel” which is very important as well as substantial fire
protection. The shoes are lined with Nomex and are normally used in conjunction
with Nomex socks. Nomex underwear and socks add two more seconds worth of fire
protection, and are well worth wearing despite the complaining of “being too
hot.” Most manufacturers recommend dry cleaning or cold water washing at home
and air drying. Do not use hot water or bleach.
CarbonX is the brand name behind the products produced by Chapman Thermal
Products. CarbonX in its raw form, is a yarn created by spinning O-PAN (oxidized
polyacrylonitrile) fiber with an Aramid strenghthening fiber. This formula
results in a yarn with amazing fire resistant characteristics that serves as the
precursor to a wide array of products and applications requiring heat and flame
resistance. The CarbonX yarn can then be converted into an array of fabrics
ranging from woven fabrics, knitted fabrics and non-woven felts.
To better understand the differences between CarbonX® and competitive products
such as Nomex, Kevlar, PBI, Proban, Basofil and Panox, among others, one must
first understand the technical functions and objectives relating to these
products. . For more info visit:
Fire retardant underwear (NOMEX) (socks, tops and bottoms and face hoods) will
add several seconds of safety in case of fire. Areas of the neck, ankles and
wrist are often burned when a driver doesn’t use fire retardant undergarments.
One important thing to remember is you only have one set of “skin” and when it
comes back after being burned it doesn’t look as nice. Wear whatever you can to
protect yourself. Fire tries to find “Cotton”.
Another overlooked safety item that requires periodic maintenance is the seat
belt and shoulder harness sets. The two most common problems are a build up of
dirt and grit in the seat belts and from the sun. But proper care and cleaning
will allow them to last a bit longer, but, as with helmets, if you have a
serious crash, the belts and harnesses have done their job and should be
replaced. REMEMBER SEAT BELTS HAVE MEMORY!
When installing seat harnesses make sure grade eight bolts and nuts are used.
And remember, the responsibility for checking seat belts, helmets and safety
equipment falls squarely on the shoulders of the person whose well being depends
on those safety items ‑ THE DRIVER.
Hearing protection is something to take very seriously. Some of our greatest
heroes suffer from serious hearing problems, and yet, this problem can be easily
avoided. If you are not wearing earphones for your radio communication, simply
wear ear plugs. There is no reason not to. Macho or not, ear plugs don’t knock
out all the sound, just the harmful ones. It also allows you to concentrate
better in the racecar, while avoiding “outside” noises.
ROLL BAR PADDING
It is advisable to install roll bar padding around the driver to insure
prevention of further injury, according to a test by Simpson. Standard roll bar
padding is 18% + better than nothing at all, and double roll bar padding is 43%
+ better than nothing at all.
Another important item to install is the new “bonnet boot. “ It is a Kevlar
fabric shield for the shifter opening and is covered with Nomex III fabric for
further fire protection. It keeps the flames from coming into the cockpit
through the shifter opening.
We at Finishline Racing School are your safety headquarters.
We have lots of Safety Apparel in stock. We can also measure you up for a
firesuit. So just ask, if it is not in stock we can drop ship to you.
Contact us for more info