I feel anxiety putting people in these cars now, I raced them for a little bit here and there. This chassis exposes the driver more than I feel its acceptable. It is not necessary to drive cars with little upper body side protection.
The whole thing with safety is to improve on it, I read about anti intrusion panels and I want to know how would you protect the driver better, here is my rendering.
Does anyone think the SCCA would consider allowing a "Safety Update" to the FM like that, then intrusion panels can be on the outside. I dont think it would be too hard to accomplish. So please someone advise me of how to go about filing for a revision.
Kind Regards Marchand Juan R
Last edited by JRMarchand; April 14th, 2012 at 11:17 AM.
Juan, I applaud your concern. I won't speculate on the practicality, cost or acceptance by the current FM community, but I suspect that the SCCA will go along with whatever the FM owners led by Moses would suggest.
There may be some worthwhile engineering suggestions posted here, but the key to getting anything off the ground is Mo's acceptance and leadership.
Ted/FM # 13
Shoe String Racing
On a Wing & a Prayer
Ted, thank you, that means a lot to me coming from you, I just woke up thinking that I might've made a fool out of myself (again) and the FM community but that is not the case , this has to be done sooner or later or eventually the Standard Formula Mazda chassis will be deemed unacceptable based on today standards.
To all the Formula Mazda drivers out there, think about this one. Take the center body section off the car and stare at what you are actually driving, then ask yourself if you think you should be protected better and why do they let us get in these things with minimal protection, safety from decades and decades ago.
I feel sick to my stomach, Moses knows this already, he drives Nascar cars where safety is not overlooked. SCCA needs to maybe ask Moses to do something about it, otherwise there is a big hole in the cockpit and the driver is an easy target.
SCCA is big on keeping up with safety, please do not look the other way. It is not fair for those that buy into the sport thinking these cars are safe, the cars might be tanks or whatever, but the driver is so exposed its ridiculous.
I'm not stepping down on this one. My right shoulder rubbed against a wall at Road America, I was lucky that day but I'm definitely not over it.
I want to say that my views posted here are not meant to create any sort doubts in the minds FM buyers or to create a negative view of the class. The STD FM chassis can be modified to increase the level of safety with a proper cockpit.
SCCA wants the open wheel cars to have intrusion panels up to the "upper rails" in the cockpit area or between main roll hoop and the front rollhoop. Because the "upper rails" in the STD FM are so low, the intrusion panels from the factory would only cover the average driver to where the human ribcage starts, anything above that is subject to intrusion and could create damage to the upper torso including H&N
I had some good comments and private emails on this matter, nobody seems to be upset, some people are not saying anything at all. Its ok.
The chassis' that have starting production do have updated side intrusion bars similar to the renderings above. The additional bars have more of a contour than the above rendering, and will still fit under the current body work.
We will also have an update kit for current owners that can be retro fitted to their current chassis.
As always keep the ideas coming. If anyone ever has a concern or an idea, please let us (The Manufacturer of the FM)know. We are here for YOU!!
9016 Performance Ct
Cresson, TX 76035
I was in the wrong in the eyes of a few for starting this post. I sincerely apologized for not going directly to the manufacturer and will make an attempt to keep my comments or ideas and share them privately instead.
It's certainly a good idea. It's been done before, with the beefed-up rool bar, so I assume there will be a timeline for implementation before it's mandatory right? I drove Skippy cars that looked just like this back to the late-'80's, and that's just what was accepted that an OW race car looked like. It's noone's fault, these are the things that need to be thought about on a car that's into it's 3rd decade of existence.
Dale V. Lake Effect Motorsports FM
Juan, a great suggestion. I am building a CSR conversion right now using a FM chassis....and I have done just that; built a proper protective cage. The only challenge is the minimum width rule for the cage itself. With that addressed, there is no reason why everyone should not convert their cars. I understand there will be detractors. But saving a few hundred dollars is a poor choice over your life. Same deal with HANS...sometimes better ideas come along and we need to adapt.
You'd have my vote for a requirement for updating the chassis. If Moses is offering a "kit", I can rest assured it will be safe, appropriate, and inexpensive.
And, in light of the potential of class "blending" with FE or others, there will be even more reason for additional protection....
Owner - Browns Lane and Racelaminates.com
Tom, thank you. My midnight rant might've came at the wrong time with all the talk about FE=FM following, just not good timing.
When the"upper rails" come as a "kit" from the manufacturer, I would expect them to be more than a couple hundred dollars. I got a call today from a gentleman racer who now wants to design/fabricate his own and just wanted to thank me for starting this thread, I wished him luck and advised him to wait on the kits to become available so the car remains legal....
if you don't mind sharing, I would like to see how the safety upgrade turns out on your car. How much weight are you adding on to the car? I think a proper cockpit with upper rails and anti-intrusion panels can be done for under 18 pounds, you can lose some of that added weight by purchasing a Ballistic battery from Pegasus.
Juan, I will check the chassis weight before and after the conversion. I will try and estimate the weight of the bars. I am also building in intrusion panels of 2 layers of carbon with an inner panel of kevlar. Panels don't weigh but a couple of pounds but make the car much safer.
The chassis is totally revised as I am building pushrod front and rear suspension. Frankly it would be easier to just design a new (lighter and narrower) chassis, but my objective is to build a proper conversion that can be added to a stock FM. A little like designing a dress for a pig, I fear!
The FM chassis is a lot like a Crossley 32 chassis in terms of layout and safety....we really need to update our safety.
PS. how did the shifter solenoids work out? T
Owner - Browns Lane and Racelaminates.com
Im happy other people think so. The manufacturer of the FM is working on a chassis upgrade kit that should be available to the owners of FM cars world wide. It is a good idea and I hope it becomes a reality soon or later.