This blog is designed to give you the rules & regulations applicable to stage rallying affecting items which have changed recently or where dates/standard changes apply. Hopefully it will help explain the Why’s as well as the What’s…
Most seats are homologated to 8855-1999, the FIA homologation on these seats is now 5 years from the end of the year of manufacture – so a seat made in January would get 6 seasons of use. Motorsport UK also allows them to be used on most stage rallies for an additional 2 years, effectively giving you 8 seasons use from a seat.
Very rarely seats are homologated to 8855-2001 – these also get an additional 2 years beyond the date on the label.
Premium seats of homologation 8862-2009 are FIA approved for 10 years, they get no extension.
Seats stating “Not Valid after 2019” were given an extra 1 year extension because of the pandemic – this additional extension has now expired.
In simplistic terms, most seats which state “Not Valid after 2019” or “Not Valid after 2020” have now expired for MSUK national events.
The previous labelling standard showing “Month of Manufacture” or “Year of Manufacture” is now obsolete and have also now expired for MSUK national events. I understand these labels were used prior to 2014.
If competing abroad or doing an Internationally permitted event – check with the organisers as not all countries have the same extensions!
Harnesses – For stage rallying, FIA approved harnesses are required.
If the harness is homologated to FIA standard 8853/98 or 8854/98 then it is valid until the date shown on the harness. (They get no extension) This applies to older 6-point and all 4-point / 5-point harnesses – typically they have a black label on them.
If your harness is homologated to the FIA standard 8853-2016, then it gets a 5 year extension for MSUK national events and lower. I believe all these harnesses have a white label and one strap will have a gold hologram. The strap with the hologram on it should be on your left shoulder.
It is still OK to use 4-point or 5-point harnesses, but they are getting rarer as they do not get the extension.
It is not possible to Mix & Match components of a harness. It is often possible to add a crutch-strap to a 4-point harness, but this needs to match the rest of the harness. I recommend contacting your supplier to discuss this option with the manufacturer if you wish to do this.
Adding a Crutch-strap to a 4-point harness does not change the approval, so they would still not get the extension.
Balaclavas – There is now a need for Stage Rally competitors to wear a Balaclava to an approved standard. Acceptable standards are FIA 8856-2000 or FIA 8856-2018.
There are no date requirements on these.
For Motorsport UK National events and below, there is no mandatory requirement for other Fireproof underwear, Gloves or Boots – though they are recommended. (They are mandatory for some international events and for circuit racing)
FHR (Hans) Devices –
FHR’s (Frontal Head Restraints) have been mandatory for a number of years in stage rallying.
They need to be FIA approved, SFI approvals are not sufficient. (It is possible to get dual approval which is also fine)
There are no date requirements on FHR’s, just they need to be of the FIA standards (Which are not mentioned in the Bluebook!) - The approved standards are FIA 8858-2002 and FIA 8858-2010
Extinguishers – For Stage Rallying in the UK, you require a plumbed-in and a handheld extinguisher. Plumbed-in need to be FIA approved system - not just the bottle. The Handheld needs to be of a minimum quantity.
To be a system, it needs to be installed as specified by the manufacturer and serviced at least every 2 years by the manufacturer or their approved agent.
I often hear “Is my system Ok with “X” Nozzles?” – the regulation is the extinguisher needs to be installed as per the manufacturers instructions; the number and type of nozzles were specified by the manufacturer in the testing process. Instructions for all extinguishers can be found here:
This also applies to the diameter of pipe being used – this was specified by the manufacturer. (One system uses 3 different diameters of pipe!)
Now, some detail that many competitors will miss.
1 – When plumbing the system, make sure you look at how the pipes connect into T-Pieces on the instructions.
If supplying the T-Piece from the bottom in these 2 diagrams, you can see how the fluid flow would differ:
This would cause the fluid to split equally
This would cause the fluid to split unequally, the easiest path is straight forward.
Some systems are designed to be unequal – check your instructions to see how they should be installed.
2 – Should I install a nozzle near the fuel tank?
Again, the requirement is to follow the manufacturers instructions. Personally, I believe if you have a fire near the fuel tank you are unlikely to save the car – get as far away from the vehicle as possible.
3 – Should I install all the nozzles?
I ran some tests with the Zero2000 system with 8 nozzles. When I removed 2 of the nozzles (to mimic leaving two from the cockpit), the system became really unbalanced. The nozzle with the highest output discharged almost 50% more fluid than the nozzle with lowest discharge – the highest output was one of the nozzles that would have been in the cockpit, the lowest output was one which would have been in the engine bay.
Helmets are not dated, rather they are approved to a certain standard which expire over time.
There have been no changes to approved standards since 2022.
The are 2 standards which will expire at the end of 2023, these are Snell SA2010 and SAH2010.
Snell SA2015 will expire at the end of 2026.
No other approved standards currently have a planned expiry date.
The helmet simply needs to have one valid standard in it (So can have others which have expired). If your helmet has any of these standards, it is still fine for 2023.
FIA: 8860-2010, 8859-2015, 8860-2018, 8860-2018-ABP
Snell: SAH2010, SA2010, SA2015, SA2020
Besides being approved, helmets have to be in good condition.
Overalls for Stage Rallying need to be FIA approved. The standards are:
These have not changed recently, other than the addition of the FIA 8856-2018 standard.
The latest FIA standard (8856-2018) now states “Not Valid after 20xx” – Motorsport UK have stated the date is irrelevant in the UK.
The only other requirements for overalls are they cover from your neck to your wrists and ankles, and they are clean & undamaged.
There are separate requirements for embroidering or applying decals to the overalls – ask if you need advice on these.