Posted by Tech Staff on 1/13/2016 to
SA 2015 helmets were officially released in October 2015. Some of you currently have an SA2005 helmet in your gear bag and are probably wondering if your helmet can still be used in 2016 for track events. The answer to that question depends on which group you spend your track days with. As always, you should check with the track group you drive with to see what their 2016 Tech Rules say. We’ve done some research and here’s what we’ve have found so far:
Porsche Club of America (PCA): PCA 2016 club racing rules, PCA CLUB RACING SAFETY, Driver requirements: Helmets must be certified in accordance with one of the following standards: Snell SA2010 or SAH2010, Snell SA2015 or SAH2015, FIA8860-2004 or 2010, SFI 31.1, or BS6658-85 type A/FR. Helmets certified to specifications other than Snell must be within 10 years of the date of manufacture. Snell SA2005 may continue in use until June 1, 2016. Helmets must have the driver’s name on the rear and have the approved PCA Club Racing Inspection sticker displayed on the left side. It is recommended that helmets be replaced or relined after 5 years of actual use.
National Auto Sport Association (NASA): The use of SA-2005 helmets has been extended through the 2016 season.
Sports Car Club of America (SCCA): The 2016 GCR states that SA2005 helmets will be allowed until January 1, 2017.
We also have a better idea on the changes that are coming with the latest homologation from Snell, AND the changes from FIA: FIA 8860-2010:
The current Grand-Daddy of helmet certifications, the FIA 8860-2010 is mandatory for many professional levels of racing, such as Indy Car & IMSA. These helmets will remain unchanged into next year, with the next update not due until 2017. FIA 8859-2015: Formerly known as the 8858 standard, the latest 8859-2015 rating will be required at all FIA-sanctioned events. In the past, FIA-events would recognize helmets with only a Snell-rating – this will no longer be the case. Obviously, just about all US-based events require Snell-ratings only, so this only applies to International racers. The most important safety updates follow: Energy requirements have been updated for all helmet sizes. These are known as “head-forms” in engineering speak – basically, helmets are tested using different sized heads, with each size requiring different levels of protection. FIA 8859 has additional energy requirements for the largest sizes. A permanent mount is required for the chin-strap. The strap cannot be removed without destroying the helmet. The strap’s pull-tab is also not allowed to slide further then 7mm. Snell SA2015: The biggest update to the Snell rating is a requirement for Head-and-Neck Restraint compatibility across all helmets. This comes in the form of the pre-installed M6 hardware that was typically only found on helmets with a Snell/FIA rating (formerly known as the SAH-rating). Additionally, all new impact testing is being used that mimics that of the above FIA-testing. Low velocity testing is now required; as is protection against lower impact points, such as strikes against window frames and other lower structures.