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  1. #1
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    Default Death of open cockpit racer; helmet discussion

    Mates,

    I’ve been looking at the RUSH SR car for many months off and on, as a complement to my PFM open wheel car. Many events I’d like to run do not allow open wheel. The RUSH SR car seemed to check off a lot of boxes.

    Recently, a NASA racer in a RUSH car died. It is a tragedy and no official cause of death has been released to my knowledge. An update from the RUSH car company reported that they have not had access to the car, but have been provided reports from eyewitnesses included a fellow competitor and it seems to point to track debris from a non-Rush car, possibly a splitter, that was run over, and this debris may have impacted the race driver. Again this was not an official report and causation of the fatality is not completely known, at least not to most of us. The rush update seem to imply that the debris hit the driver incapacitating him car to drive in a straight line and hitting a berm, going airborne and flipping,, and then hitting a concrete wall.

    there was a different update on the rush page that did not mention the fatality, but did acknowledge the risk of being in an open cockpit car. Good discussion of the various helmet ratings was made, including that of fia 8860-2018 ABP. ABP got my attention, as in Advanced Ballistic Protection. I became concerned about visor and pack resistance during a race week in America a year and a half ago when I saw that there were actual holes near the front of my car nose cone. I didn’t know if it was from gravel or bullets ( there is reportedly a gun range near T12 “The Kink”) and I thought whatever the hell that was with my face and eyes be protected?

    I did a search in the forms for fia 8860-2018 ABP and did not find anything posted within the last four years, so I thought I would ask you veterans what you know about this type of protection, any information about the fatality and causation, and about the reported new FIA standard, that would include ABP at a lower cost, FIA 8859-2024 ABP.

    if I knew how to cross post this I would. Maybe one of you can do it for me since it seems pretty important.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jeff Antonelli

  2. #2
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    1) buy a new helmet every 5 years.
    2) I buy the best helmet I can, ensuring it meets the current F1 requirements with ABP.

    Yes, I know these helmets cost thousands of dollars, but it's a small price to pay for safety.

    As an aside, I looked at the Rush SR and was disappointed that they couldn't answer basic questions on safety design of their cars. For example, when I asked why didn't you Include rear extending roll bars, I was told because NASA doesn't require it. It was the same response to other safety design questions. I can't comment on how well the cars are designed from a safety perspective, only that I was disappointed they couldn't or wouldn't engage in the conversation. They seemed to have no knowledge of other sanctioning body requirements when I asked about compliance to organizations other than NASA.

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  4. #3
    Contributing Member Rick Kirchner's Avatar
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    This is one of those things where waiting for a final determination is likely the best thing to do.

    I have serious doubts that any shield would stop a real bullet over .22.

    Regardless of how the helmet performs against penetration, if the object hitting you has enough mass, it doesn't have to get inside the helmet to kill you.

    I'm betting there's more to this than meets the eye.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon View Post
    As an aside, I looked at the Rush SR and was disappointed that they couldn't answer basic questions on safety design of their cars. For example, when I asked why didn't you Include rear extending roll bars, I was told because NASA doesn't require it. It was the same response to other safety design questions. I can't comment on how well the cars are designed from a safety perspective, only that I was disappointed they couldn't or wouldn't engage in the conversation. They seemed to have no knowledge of other sanctioning body requirements when I asked about compliance to organizations other than NASA.
    I was surprised to see that their web site has ZERO pictures of the basic car with the bodywork off. I( did at least find these 2 videos, but they still show you pretty much nothing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXBn...QuickshiftCars

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXBn...QuickshiftCars

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    Contributing Member marshall9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon View Post
    1) buy a new helmet every 5 years.
    2) I buy the best helmet I can, ensuring it meets the current F1 requirements with ABP.

    Yes, I know these helmets cost thousands of dollars, but it's a small price to pay for safety.

    As an aside, I looked at the Rush SR and was disappointed that they couldn't answer basic questions on safety design of their cars. For example, when I asked why didn't you Include rear extending roll bars, I was told because NASA doesn't require it. It was the same response to other safety design questions. I can't comment on how well the cars are designed from a safety perspective, only that I was disappointed they couldn't or wouldn't engage in the conversation. They seemed to have no knowledge of other sanctioning body requirements when I asked about compliance to organizations other than NASA.
    That's on NASA. A rule compliant car was built and welcomed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall9 View Post
    That's on NASA. A rule compliant car was built and welcomed.
    Off of the little we can see - would the car be SCCA rule compliant?

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon View Post
    As an aside, I looked at the Rush SR and was disappointed that they couldn't answer basic questions on safety design of their cars. .
    The pedal assembly is ahead of the front wheel centerline.

    That said, I gather there are over 100 of them in Canada. Particularly crazy given the decent health of FF on Toyos up there.
    Caldwell D9B - Sold
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    The pedal assembly is ahead of the front wheel centerline.
    That was another one of the issues I pointed out to them when looking at the car. Again, met with NASA is OK with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimH View Post
    The pedal assembly is ahead of the front wheel centerline.

    That said, I gather there are over 100 of them in Canada. Particularly crazy given the decent health of FF on Toyos up there.
    I don't believe that is correct. There have only been something like 150 built as of December. There are more than 50 in the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Pare View Post
    I was surprised to see that their web site has ZERO pictures of the basic car with the bodywork off. I( did at least find these 2 videos, but they still show you pretty much nothing.
    There is one in the carosel on the bottom of this page https://www.rushoftherockies.com/rush-sr

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    Quote Originally Posted by janton9736 View Post
    Mates,

    I’ve been looking at the RUSH SR car for many months off and on, as a complement to my PFM open wheel car. Many events I’d like to run do not allow open wheel. The RUSH SR car seemed to check off a lot of boxes.

    Jeff Antonelli
    Have you considered a Spec Racer Ford? I found many groups would allow me to run my SRF in closed wheel groups. I have also seen Radicals allowed in closed wheel.

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    Is an intrusion bar an option from the factory, ie F1 style?

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    I did look for a brief time at Spec Racer Fords. I did not find a lot of information. It seemed like the cars and powerplants were old. I've had enough of old, with hard to find parts, hard to find mechanics, etc. I've invested quite a lot of time and money updating my pfm. I don't want to do that again. That's why a new RUSH SR at around $50k or so all in for race version seemed very attractive. It gets hard to justidy spending a lot more for a new race car when there is no money to win or sponsors to offer ROI. That's an entirely different subject of course, I worked dilligently for several years making inroads towards making a pro career and business in motorsports. If anyone has figured that out below the very top levels in Indy, NASCAR, F!, or local circle track which I do not wish to do as a driver - please let me know.

    And if I am way wrong about SRFs please enlighten me!

    Jeff

    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon View Post
    Have you considered a Spec Racer Ford? I found many groups would allow me to run my SRF in closed wheel groups. I have also seen Radicals allowed in closed wheel.
    Last edited by janton9736; 04.02.24 at 7:05 PM. Reason: typos of course

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    The Rush SR web site has pictures of the bare frame. https://rushautoworks.com/car_post/rush-sr/

    They are using a double main roll bar. This should meet SCCA roll bar specs.

    This design looks fine for what it is being used for. Any mention of this car is completely irrelevant to this accident based on the information that has been presented to this point.

    The latest cockpit protection features are simple not possible for cars in this price range. If you are going to keep racing affordable, as we have known it in the past, you are going to have to accept risk.

    Brian

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  19. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by janton9736 View Post
    I did look for a brief time at Spec Racer Fords. I did not find a lot of information. It seemed like the cars and powerplants were old. I've had enough of old, with hard to find parts, hard to find mechanics, etc. I've invested quite a lot of time and money updating my pfm. I don't want to do that again. That's why a new RUSH SR at around $50k or so all in for race version seemed very attractive. It gets hard to justidy spending a lot more for a new race car when there is no money to win or sponsors to offer ROI. That's an entirely different subject of course, I worked dilligently for several years making inroads towards making a pro career and business in motorsports. If anyone has figured that out below the very top levels in Indy, NASCAR, F!, or local circle track which I do not wish to do as a driver - please let me know.

    And if I am way wrong about SRFs please enlighten me!

    Jeff
    Engines and gearboxes have been upgraded to modern on the cars. All parts can be purchased new as can a car.

    https://www.eliteautosport.com/ is in IL and rents and sells SRFs

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    Thank you for the mention of Elite in Illinois. I looked at my emails to confirm, I emailed Elite twice last summer about their support programs, with no response. No information on the website can be found for pricing on either arrive/drive or for new car sales. As of today, when you clicki the 'for sale' button you see a single, used car https://www.eliteautosport.com/services/forsale/

    I saw a group of them racing at Blackhawk last year, so I am guessing they are comfortable supporting the old customers they currently have and don't feel the need to do more. If I expend the racing fleet beyond the open wheel car, I want someone supporting the closed wheel car who wants or needs me as much as I need them.


    Quote Originally Posted by halcyon View Post
    Engines and gearboxes have been upgraded to modern on the cars. All parts can be purchased new as can a car.

    https://www.eliteautosport.com/ is in IL and rents and sells SRFs

  21. #17
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    I've looked at a Rush up close and personal.

    Buy a Radical...
    RFR F1000 chassis #1

  22. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by janton9736 View Post
    Thank you for the mention of Elite in Illinois. I looked at my emails to confirm, I emailed Elite twice last summer about their support programs, with no response. No information on the website can be found for pricing on either arrive/drive or for new car sales. As of today, when you clicki the 'for sale' button you see a single, used car https://www.eliteautosport.com/services/forsale/

    I saw a group of them racing at Blackhawk last year, so I am guessing they are comfortable supporting the old customers they currently have and don't feel the need to do more. If I expend the racing fleet beyond the open wheel car, I want someone supporting the closed wheel car who wants or needs me as much as I need them.

    Alliance Autosport also supports these and should be responsive to rental questions.

    I race both FE2 and SRF3. There is nothing not modern about the SRF. Modern engine, SADEV sequential box the same as the FE2. The racing is fantastic and very competitive. I used to make fun of them until I raced one. If I had to sell one car, it would be my FE over my SRF. Closer racing and cheaper to operate.

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  24. #19
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    Hmm, like this one? Or too low on the Radical lineup for,actual,w2w?

    https://www.racingjunk.com/road-club...-sr-3-rsx.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Adriancnh View Post
    I've looked at a Rush up close and personal.

    Buy a Radical...

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    Agree with referral to Alliance, I’d race with them in a minute if I could.

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    Not to derail the thread but as an owner of three SRF3's I can attest that there is a vast network of support from both SCCA Enterprises and many CSR/Prep shops across the country. Parts are not an issue and the cars are still being built with the number of cars approaching 1000. We have a guy named Mike Davies whose sole job is to regulate and develop these cars to create an even field and a bright future. The cars are tough and the fields are generally strong at all levels.

    I have seen the Rush and I saw one competing at a recent SCCA event if Florida. I don't know much about them but they are very small and don't seem as durable as the SRF's.

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  28. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by janton9736 View Post
    Hmm, like this one? Or too low on the Radical lineup for,actual,w2w?

    https://www.racingjunk.com/road-club...-sr-3-rsx.html
    Looks like a fine unit. 1340 is plenty popular
    RFR F1000 chassis #1

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    Default Srf3

    Quote Originally Posted by iamuwere View Post
    Alliance Autosport also supports these and should be responsive to rental questions.

    I race both FE2 and SRF3. There is nothing not modern about the SRF. Modern engine, SADEV sequential box the same as the FE2. The racing is fantastic and very competitive. I used to make fun of them until I raced one. If I had to sell one car, it would be my FE over my SRF. Closer racing and cheaper to operate.
    Me too! Definitely one of the best cars for competitive racing in SCCA, maybe anywhere.

    Keith

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  31. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by janton9736 View Post
    I did look for a brief time at Spec Racer Fords. I did not find a lot of information. It seemed like the cars and powerplants were old. I've had enough of old, with hard to find parts, hard to find mechanics, etc. I've invested quite a lot of time and money updating my pfm. I don't want to do that again. That's why a new RUSH SR at around $50k or so all in for race version seemed very attractive. It gets hard to justidy spending a lot more for a new race car when there is no money to win or sponsors to offer ROI. That's an entirely different subject of course, I worked dilligently for several years making inroads towards making a pro career and business in motorsports. If anyone has figured that out below the very top levels in Indy, NASCAR, F!, or local circle track which I do not wish to do as a driver - please let me know.

    And if I am way wrong about SRFs please enlighten me!

    Jeff
    You clearly didn't look in the right places. One thing that may be confusing is that while "Spec Racer Ford" technically refers to the old car, many people just casually refer to the "Spec Racer Ford Gen 3" (SRF3) as "Spec Racer Ford" (SRF). The SRF3 is up to date, and SCCA keeps the class up to date on parts. If a part is no longer made, they will find a substitute part and make it legal.

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