When to use a 4 point harness
You may be wondering whether 4 point harnesses are still a good choice for motorsport racing. Historically these harnesses have been a very popular choice, but with recent advancements and innovations of 5 and 6 point seat belts, they have lost their place in the market. Can you even use a 4 point harness for racing today? For what types of motorsports? Read on to learn more about 4 point harnesses from Racetech!
What are 4 point harnesses?
Four-point harnesses have two shoulder straps and two-lap straps, which are mounted in place with a quick-release buckle. If a car has a safety cage installed that extends forward of the driver, it is recommended that a harness be used instead of a standard seat belt. Due to these modifications, we often see 4 point harnesses installed into race cars. They are, however, only accepted under certain levels of motorsport in New Zealand and are seen as the minimum requirement.
What motorsports can I use a 4 point harness for?
Four-point harnesses are a great choice for road use as well as for racing. If you use your everyday vehicle for a few track runs on the weekend or are looking for a seat belt that gives you added safety on the road, then look for the ECE 16.06 (E8) standard. Our 4 Point Clubman is a great choice if you are looking for a harness that works for road use, track days and Clubsport events.
Keep in mind that in New Zealand, you can use any motorsport harness on the road, but it essentially needs to be a race car with an MSNZ authority card. The ECE homologation on the Clubman is accepted for road use, but most likely, you will still need an authority card or have an LVVTA approved scratch-built car.
Some 4 point harnesses, such as the 4 Point Magnum by Racetech, are homologated to the FIA 8854-1998 standard, meaning that they can be used for accredited series or championship events. Although these can be used in conjunction with an FHR, they aren’t recommended. If you are using an FHR device, you’re best to choose a 6 point harness instead.
The team at Racetech suggests that you select a 5 or 6 point harness for your race car unless you own a classic vehicle that has no room for crotch straps and you are a casual racer. The added safety features from these advanced options will protect you more in a crash.
Pros and cons of a 4 point harness
4 point harnesses are a great first harness for racers just starting out or those that do a few laps around the track casually. They are safer than a standard seat belt and the minimal requirement at many race tracks across the country in New Zealand.
However, these harnesses don’t offer the extent of protection in a crash that 5 and 6 point harnesses do. They are missing a crotch strap, which means that the driver could slide under the harness on impact. This is also called submarining and can cause a severe injury. It’s important to follow the recommendations from your motorsport association and go for a higher safety option, even if this one aligns with the FIA requirements.
We have a range of high-quality 4 point harnesses available online and in-store at Racetech! However, we suggest that if you are thinking about entering higher-level motorsport events in New Zealand, you select either a 5 or 6 point harness to protect yourself further in the event of a crash. Get in touch with our team if you would like to learn more about our harnesses, and we can help select the ideal one for your needs!