View Full Version : Racing Roll Bars

Matthew E. Herd
03-27-2004, 07:20 PM
This is aimed at the spridget racers out there (such as Jeff and Nial). I'm trying to determine the exact safety requirements for club racing, esp. with SCCA and EMRA. I haven't (as yet) purchased the SCCA GCR, but will soon. However, at this time I'm trying to get a feel for what it takes to put in an appropriate roll bar.

Nial, I looked at your setup and must say, it looks very clean in the pictures. I noticed you have a convertible top cover on at the Hershey Hillclimb. Does a top fit over the bar? Also, is it welded or bolted in? I'd be interested in a setup that could be removed for winter street use and not freeze at the same time! (Plus, I have a perfectly good top that'd be a shame to waste). Can you give me some pointers on what is required for EMRA? I emailed a Mr. French specifically asking where to find a rulebook and he told me to examine the website (which is how I found his name in the first place -- surprise surprise) and completely ignored my question concerning the book.

What pointers can you gentlemen give me on this?

03-27-2004, 09:39 PM
Matt, the SCCA requires a full cage for road racing. This includes bars in the door openings. And the height of the main hoop above the drivers head means using a top would be out of the question.
I do have the 2003 GCR on a disc, if you want me to send it to you.
If you are just going to do autocross, I think their rules are a bit more lenient. I don't have a copy of those, but have a road racer friend that also does autocross. I'll check with him on their rules regarding bars and cages.

[ 03-27-2004: Message edited by: Bugeye58 ]</p>

Matthew E. Herd
03-27-2004, 10:31 PM
Looking to do a good bit of hillclimbing, which is solo I, as well as basic autocrossing. I know that the rules aren't as strict so that whatever is good enough for road racing will be more than adequate for time trialing/hillclimbing (solo I). It's not necessary for you to send me the disk, but thanks for offering. Also, were you able to look at that cad file i sent you? It's a little rough, but that's the general idea. (I did it up in like 20 min).

Oh, and when you say bars in the door openings, do you mean inside the doors (aka "doorbars" as I've heard them called) or do you mean just inside of the door in the cockpit area?

This car is designed to be a solo I/II car and I'd like to build a bugeye for road racing at some time in the future, so like I've said before, I'd like to retain the niceties (what few there are) and live with the added weight.

03-27-2004, 11:03 PM
Matt, I never got the cad file. Where did you send it to? My address is jeffreydahn@yahoo.com

The bars I referred to are inside the door openings as protection against side impact. Mine are NASCAR bars, in that they actually extend into the door shell when the door is closed. But, to do that you have to gut the door. On the early Spridgets there isn't anything there to "gut", but on the later ones there is.

03-28-2004, 06:22 AM
EMRA requires a roll cage on open cars in "ST" class. That's a front and back hoop. Most guys run a high front hoop. My front hoop is under the dash and only goes over my legs...it doesn't extend into the passenger side. The diagonal center brace from the rear hoop goes down to the right side of the front hoop. The left side hoop is connected to the front hoop with a side protection bar that would be like a NASCAR side bar (but I only have a left side-bar). The height required for EMRA involves a stick that sits on the top of both hoops. The driver's helmet must be 2" below the stick. In my car, it's a bit tough to see where the stick would hit (since the front hoop is hidden), but our tech-guy (not Frenchy) says that my car *just* makes it.
You will see a number of SCCA cars with a low front hoop like mine, but most tend to have higher rear bars.
Note that our "ST" class is somewhat like the SCCA "IT" class, where limited mods are permitted and cars are somewhat streetable.
I wanted to keep the folding top functional and I'm a bit over 6 feet tall.....What to do? My solution was to make the rear bar *just* high enough to clear the top and drop the seat mount. If you looked in my car, you'd see that I've cut away the floor and inserted a sheet metal dropped-wedge that allows the seat to be mounted below the plane of the main floor. The seat is also angled in a "lay-back" position.
In the pictures, my car has its "street doors". I also have a set of gutted doors that I plan on using more often this year. EMRA does not require the NASCAR bars if a car has the "full doors", but the bars are needed if gutted doors are fitted. I just added a right side NASCAR bar to comply with this. Athletic passengers can still get in if I have a seat installed (rarely).
I should say here that the top is really just for parking. It is not really possible to get in the car with the top up. On occasion (rain), I've put the top up half way, climbed over the door (as I usually do) and then pull the top in place. Not possible to set the clips near the quarter windows (if someone does it for you, you can't get out!). If you drive with these clips off, the top will flail out.
I'm not sure why Mike French's name is listed for tech-questions (is it?). His job at EMRA does not normally involve tech questions. The best guys to ask are Bob Hill and "Wreckerboy" Rob....they are both active on our Boardroom Forum.
If you wish to get involved in any form of competion, I'd suggest Time Trials, autocross or hillclimbs as a first go (not wheel to wheel racing at first). These events do not require a cage for your car, but a bar is needed (2" over your helmeted head for most clubs). My '00 street Miata works fine for Time Trails with a standard Hard Dog bar (clears the soft top), but I had to pull some padding our of the seat to drop me a bit (OK, I slouch a bit for tech also).Normal 3-pt belts are OK. You should really show up at an event before doing any work on your car...it'll answer a lot of your questions.
Personally, a Time Trial is the best deal. If I run a hiulclimb or autocross, I can measure my total track time in minutes and I rarely cover more than 10 miles. It's easy to get close to 2 hours of track time (usually over 120 miles driving) in a Time Trials.
The closest events to you are run by NASA, COM and EMRA. All have web sites with schedules. Our next one is at Pocono on May 7. I'll be there (and I'll be at the Hershey Hillclimb the week before).

Matthew E. Herd
03-28-2004, 07:27 AM
Thanks for the help. Now i know a good bit more about putting in the rollbar. It would seem (as I suspected) that hill climbing/time trialing won't involve too much cutting, which is the ideal. I've never heard of COM or NASA, but I know of the PA Hillclimb Assoc, which runs hillclimbs in eastern PA with the SCCA. My father claims to have attended several of their events a long time in the past (as one of their locations is not far from Bucknell, where he went to school). Looking to fabricate this rollbar and get some racing in! When you had your spridget cage done, did you design it yourself? Also, I'm 6' (alright, closer to 5'11.5") and can appreciate your solution to sitting lower in the car. Getting in, without any door obstructions, is always a treat!

Matthew E. Herd
03-28-2004, 05:12 PM
Oh, BTW, which organization is at Pocono on May 7? My last final is the 6th, so I was thinking of going to Pocono for the EMRA events held the 8th and 9th ...

03-29-2004, 07:25 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matthew E. Herd:
Oh, BTW, which organization is at Pocono on May 7? ...<hr></blockquote>

My mistake.....we (EMRA) has it Saturday and Sunday this year (only the 8 th and 9 th).

More Schedules:




Matthew E. Herd
03-29-2004, 07:32 AM
Thanks! I was looking for NASA and COM, but wasn't sure what COM stood for ... yeah, the google search told me "com is a common word and was eliminated from the search." I shouldve known images/icons/smile.gif