2018 FIA Harness Regulations Explained

Author: Jason Hore  

2018 FIA Harness Regulations Explained main image 2018 FIA Harness Regulations Explained image

2018 FIA Harness Regulations Explained


If you are in the market for a new race harness, it is important to know that a new FIA standard has been introduced, meaning all harnesses manufactured from 2018 will have to pass the new test. 

The new 8853-2016 homologation requires greater g-load testing and new features which make race harnesses even safer. Previously crash testing was done at 32g, now the requirement is increased to 70g. This change has been introduced because cars are able to survive larger impacts due to new safety requirements brought in since 1998 when the FIA harness regulations were last updated. This means that the driver has a much greater chance of survivability in the event of a sudden impact if good vehicle crashworthiness and safe cockpit environments are combined with the latest safety equipment.

This research prompted the FIA, in collaboration with the Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety (GIMSS) and manufacturers of FIA-approved safety harnesses, to develop standard 8853-2016 to "ensure improved strength during frontal and angled frontal impacts". It was rolled out with immediate effect in Formula 1, the World Endurance Championship and World Rally Championship, and will filter through to a majority of categories by 2023.

Do you need to replace your harness?

If you have purchased a harness in 2017 or before then this will still be legal for CAMS competition until the date of the harness runs out (five years after the harness was made). Therefore there is no need to purchase a new harness until your old one has run out of life, subject to its condition. 

What does the new homologation mean?

The FIA have brought in new standards to improve safety for drivers in the event of a sudden impact. These changes include:
•    Testing to include a velocity of 70g 
•    5pt harnesses are now not covered by FIA homologation
•    V-strap crotch straps are no longer homologated for 8853-2016. The new t-bar crutch strap attachment is integral to the buckle. (See image below)
•    4pt harnesses that comply with the old regulation (8854/98) for historic competition are still allowed
•    2" Lap straps will be more common under 8853-2016.  Having a 2" lap strap is more comfortable as it sits on the drivers hips better. It also causes less bruising in the event of a crash. The smaller lap strap means that the belt can be worn tighter as well, this not only aids comfort but also improves safety should a crash occur. They are also much easier to tighten when seating a driver in the car.
•    The new standard includes the allowance of >44mm webbing for all straps (lap and sub) and shoulder belts when used in conjunction with a frontal head-restraint device (FHR). This replaces the current 2-inch/3-inch shoulder belts under the 8853/98 standard. 


Still have some questions?

If you would like to know more information about the new regulations and how they will impact your choice in harness then please feel free to contact us. 

Sabelt is a world leader in motorsport safety products and were the first company to produce a harness to meet the FIA 8853-2016 standard.

Check out our range of top quality Sabelt harnesses with the latest FIA homologation.

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