Reuters reports that HANS System, designed to prevent the basilar fracture among sport racers (racing’s most common cause of death), will prominently be featured during this weekend’s Monte Carlo Rally:
This weekend’s Monte Carlo Rally, apart from being the traditional season-opener, is also the first at which the HANS head and neck safety device will be mandatory for all competitors.
The restraint, already compulsory in Formula One and most open-wheel racing, is the latest initiative to make rallying safer.
“I think the HANS system is a very significant step forward in driver safety,” said Subaru’s 2003 world champion Petter Solberg, who almost plunged off a parapet in the Monte Carlo during his title-winning season and had a huge accident in Germany last year.
The Norwegian and his co-driver Phil Mills were lucky on the latter occasion not to be seriously hurt after ramming a concrete block at around 160 kph, flipping several times and landing upside down.
“I’m convinced that rally drivers will benefit as much from the system as racing drivers have already,” said Solberg. “We’ve made quite a lot of modifications to make it suitable for off-road use and it’s comfortable now.”