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Auto Racing Helmet Requirements

SNELL ratings on helmets change every 5 years. The current rating is SNELL SA2015. Most sanctioning bodies will allow either the current Snell rating (i.e. SA2015) or one back (i.e. SA2010) to be used. All of the SA2015 helmets come with the threads for mounting HANS posts as part of the helmet when it is manufactured.

All auto racing sanctioning bodies require the SNELL SA (Special Application) rating rather than the SNELL M (Motorcycle) rating. There are good reasons for this, so make sure your new helmet is an "SA" rated one. An SA helmet has a fire retardant (Nomex, Carbon-X or similar material) interior and the chin strap is usually Kevlar and/or Nomex. An SA rated helmet is constructed to take both primary and secondary (rebound) type impacts like hitting your head on a roll-cage. Many SA rated helmets are available in carbon/Kevlar composites as well as fiberglass. These semi-exotic materials are not only stronger but they can be as much as 30% lighter than the same helmet in fiberglass. If your motorsports activity involves high G situations or if you do endurance racing you may want to consider one of these ultra-lightweight helmets.

"M" rated helmets usually have Nylon interiors since fire is not a threat and the chin strap is generally a woven Nylon material. The shell and liner of a Motorcycle helmet are designed to take a single sliding type of impact that is most common in motorcycle accidents.

Northstar Motorsports is proud to be a warehouse distributor for Arai, Bell, HJC, Pyrotect and Stilo helmets. Northstar currently carries only SNELL SA 2015 rated helmets. The next update to the Snell standard will be the SA2020 standard. Helmets meeting this new standard should be released sometime in 2020. Northstar will have helmets that are certified SA2020 as soon s they are available. Please check the helmet page on our website for all our current offerings.


Tech Tips Archive

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Auto Racing Helmet Requirements

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