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Question about passenger side seatbelts for instructor


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I'm going to be starting my HPDE program this summer in my modified 94 Camaro. The car has a 4 point roll bar with a one piece racing seat and 5 point harness for the driver. The passenger side has a 2 piece reclining seat with the stock seatbelt. Is that going to be ok with the instructor?

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Most organizations require equal safety for driver and instructor. An instructor would be well within his rights to refuse to ride.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree, you need to show the instructor you value his life as much as your own. You've already figured out how to make one setup you consider safe......simply duplicate your efforts on the passenger side. There are some instructors that will refuse to ride if their safety is not considered by the driver.


As a racer, I'm not even willing to get in the car with another driver unless I know them very well. Instructors are crazy to get in a strangers car if you ask me and new drivers need to make them as comfortable as possible so they keep doing what they do.

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I just ordered the stuff I need to get a 5 point harness set up on the passenger side. It should be pretty easy to switch it back to stock when I'm not tracking the car.

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Looking back at this it does seem like a no brainer to give the instructor the same level of safety as the driver. I was thinking that I have the harness on the driver side at this point more for car control than safety reasons. I'm guessing we will not be lapping that fast in HPDE1, but I'm sure it's a good idea to help make any instructor feel as safe as possible.

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Just answered your other post as well. And looks like people have given you similar advice.


Even though you don't think you'll be going that fast, you'll see highway or greater speeds.


We use the Club Rules and Regulations (CCR) as the guideline to this question.


Per the CCR for your driver restraints, any harness system must conform to the same rules as a racecars harness, except expiration dates. This includes how the belts are attached to the car (eye bolts, safety wired, correctly threaded, etc).


For the passenger, the Schroth 4-pt are only DOT and FMVSS 209 Approved (but not for specific fitments per the CCRs requirements). Also, worth noting that a off-brand seat of unknown quality/testing may not be the best choice if you're asking for an instructor to ride with you and all the of responsibilities that go along with that.


**if a T-Top F-Body, I would run with those off. Personal experience, the flex in the car can lead to tops popping out mid-corner. You should look into arm restraints. HPDE may not require it...but again its for your safety.**


Ideal state is that you match the seat and harnesses (correctly attached) to the drivers equipment. Not only is it safer, you're also telling the instructor that you value their life as equally as yours


11.3 Required Safety Equipment - Driver

Disclaimer: Conformance to these regulations is the driver’s responsibility. These regulations do not guarantee

or imply that injuries or death will not occur. If there are any questions or problems with these regulations it is

the reader’s responsibility to contact the NASA office, or a NASA official immediately.

All participants should utilize equipment that meets or exceeds these minimum requirements, while driving on

track (Note- passenger equipment must meet or exceed these minimum requirements; but do not necessarily

have to match the driver’s equipment):

1. Use a proper fitting helmet that meets Snell 1995 (SA1995; M1995) or newer (or equivalent) standards

for cars or motorcycles.

2. The driver and any passenger must utilize modern style stock seatbelts in very good condition, or a DOT

approved restraint system, while operating a vehicle on the track. Lap belts used without any shoulder

restraints are not permitted. Restraint system requirements are listed in Section #11.4.8. The only

four-point belt systems that are allowed for use in HPDE / TT are 1) those that carry an “FIA B-xxx.T/98

certification, or 2) those that carry a label from the belt manufacturer stating that the belts meet Federal

Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 209 AND that the belts were designated for the specific vehicle

(e.g. “For use only in BMW E36 models”). Such label must be easily visible to the NASA inspector.

Note- four-point belt sets that have a DOT-only certification are not allowed.


11.4.8 Seatbelts and Harnesses

The seatbelts should be in good condition. No damage may be present on the seatbelts and they must be the

factory configuration. Any harness or any restraint system, other than factory stock, shall conform to CCR

section #15.5, in all respects except for the expiration regulations. Harnesses that are expired for racing may

be used providing that they are in at least very good condition. The use of a lap belt without any shoulder

restraint is not permitted. Passenger seatbelts must meet the same minimum requirements per the CCR as the

driver seatbelts if being used by a passenger. Note-passenger equipment need not match the installed

equipment on the driver’s side. See Section 11.3 for more about four point harnesses. Stock / OEM belts

should not be worn with hard shell, fixed back racing seats. Those seats should have a racing harness.


15.5 Driver restraint system

(See diagram at end of section)

1. All vehicles should have a five (5), six (6), or seven (7) point seat belt system. Arm restraints are

required in open cars and cars with: Open T-tops, Open Targa tops, missing moon/sun roofs, or glass

moon/sun roofs.

2. A five (5) point system consists of: a lap belt, two (2) shoulder belts, and anti-submarine strap.

3. A six (6) point system is recommended for cars where the driver is seated in an upright (to thirty (30)

degrees) or a semi-reclining position. It consists of two (2) anti-submarine belts in addition to lap and

shoulder belts.

4. A seven (7) point system is recommended for seats with more than thirty (30) degrees of incline.

5. The material of all straps should be in new or perfect condition. The buckles should be metal quick

release. There should be a single point of release for all belts.

6. The shoulder harness should be mounted behind the driver and above a line drawn downward from the

shoulder point at an angle of no more than twenty (20) degrees with the horizontal.

7. The seat, seat holes, and attachments to the seat are not permissible “harness guides” for compliance

with the angle requirement. Only specific harness guide bars, or parts of the chassis or the cage are allowed to be used for this purpose. The guide bar, if used, should not present a sharp edge to the belt.

It should provide as much area of support as possible to distribute the load.

8. Only separate shoulder straps are permitted. “H” type belts are allowed. “Y” type belts are not allowed.

Each shoulder strap should have an independent mounting point.

9. All mounting hardware should be SAE grade five (5) or better. Large diameter mounting washers should

be used to spread the load. Bolting through floor panels etc. is not acceptable without required washers.

10. Certain belt sets are made for certain purposes, such as for use with a specific head and neck restraint

device. The driver is responsible for ensuring the use of the proper belt set for his/her given application.

In addition, all belts should meet at least one of the following:

A) SFI Specification 16.1 or 16.5 and shall bear a dated label of no more than two (2) years old. At

least one date label is required on belt sets.

B) A restraint system meeting FIA spec #8853/1985, 8853/98, or D-###.T/98, including amendment

1/92 may be used. FIA certified belts have a label that shows an expiration date. The belts cannot

be used past December 31st of the year shown on the label. At least one date label is required on

belt sets.

11. All drivers should take care to ensure that their belts are properly worn, adjusted, and latched. It is the

driver’s responsibility to assure that harnesses are installed in compliance with manufacturer’s

instructions for the harness as well as their head / neck restraint.

12. Any driver involved in a high impact crash shall send all of their safety belts back to the manufacturer for

inspection, re-webbing if necessary, and re-certification before they may be used again in competition.

Proof of re-certification is the driver’s responsibility.

13. All belts should be threaded in compliance with manufacturer’s instructions. An example of one type of

threading instruction set appears at end of this section.



15.6.21 Seat Back Support

A seatback support must be made to hold the seat from going back in the event of a crash. A plate should be

used to distribute the load. No bolts, corners, or sharp objects should be placed in such a manner that could

lead to a possible puncture of the driver in a high impact crash. Seat back support need not be attached to the

seat itself. Proper design and installation is crucial to safety and it is recommended that the driver employ the

services of a professional race car builder for this, as well as all other vehicle safety items. An exception may

be made for those seats homologated to, and mounted in accordance with, FIA 8855-1999 or 8862-2009

standards. Those seats that qualify for the aforementioned exception must conform to the entire FIA 8855-1999

or 8862-2009 set of regulations, as applicable. This includes a mandatory seat replacement, or use of a seat

back brace, for any seat more than five (5) years old (8855-1999) or more than ten (10) years old (8862-2009).

Please reference the FIA regulations. http://www.fia.com/.


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No problem.


It's the crash testing the seat may or may not have been tested to. Concern is that in the event of a sudden stop the seat would fold or fail rendering the belts less effective and not hold the occupant in place.


Back brace (if a fiberglass seat fixed back) should be floating behind the seat and not bolted to it. If its an aluminum fixed back - those should be hard mounted/braced to the cage. If the seat is not a fixed back then it does not fall under this rule.


Will look like this if a fiberglass fixed back:



NASA Supporter:



Discount code: NASA-SE-10 for 10% off.


Yes, that is acceptable for the outside lower lap belt mount.

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Opps. deleted my response on this thread and posted on the other one.



"Thanks for the info! My next question was going to be about the T-tops. I was planning on bringing a couple sets of arm restraints just in case.


As for the off brand seat, I'm hoping I should be ok. It's a very solid seat for a two piece.


A couple of more questions.


According to the CCR I would need seat back braces for a non FIA seat?

That would throw a monkey wrench in to the whole thing. There is no way I could use a brace on the framed seat. If this is the case I'll have to get a new seat and side mount brackets for the passenger side.


The second question is about harness mounting.

I'm using eyebolts and backing plates/washers everywhere except the outboard side. There I found that the stock shoulder bolt and location was the most solid way to mount it. Do you think this will pass?"

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I had no idea I needed to use the seat braces when I switched to a racing seat in HPDE. (Corboau fx1) I was thinking that my best option was to go ahead and duplicate my drivers seat setup on the passenger side, but if I need to do seat brace setups now, this may blow my budget for being able to do this this year.

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For HPDE, the brace is strongly recommended but not hard requirement.


Matching driver safety to passenger side will go a long way (as mentioned previously).

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Cool. I'll go ahead and put the Corboau setup on the passenger side. Unless I can get a hand fabbing up some seat braces before July, I will have to go without them and hope for the best.

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I would recommend emailing the regional director for the event just to make sure you don't have any surprises. They will ask for a picture and let you know if something needs to happen before the event.

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