What you need to know about helmets


What are helmet ratings and what is required for our events?


Helmets are rated by the Snell Memorial Foundation.   We will generally accept helmets with Snell ratings of  SA-2010, M-2010, SA-2015 or M-2015. The numbers indicate the year that the standards were adopted. 2015 is an updated standard as compared to 2010 and is preferable. Please note that SA-2005 and M-2005 helmets are no longer allowed at any track event run by the BMW Clubs Canada.


The “SA” designation (for Special Application) indicates that the helmet was designed specifically for automotive use. SA rated helmets are tested for multiple impacts, have a greater area of protection, and offer fire-retardant liners (usually Nomex). This gives you maximum protection should the worst happen. M rated helmets (for Motorcycle) might look grossly similar, but there are three important differences. First, these helmets are designed to withstand a single, large impact rather than multiple, smaller impacts like SA rated ones.  Second, they are tested over a smaller area, so they do not offer as much coverage. Third, they do not have fire-retardant linings.


If you do not have a helmet yet, your best bet is to purchase one rated SA-2015. This is the most current standard. Helmets rated SA-2010 are already dated will be disallowed when the Snell 2020 standard is issued. Many organizations hosting driving events and all race sanctioning bodies require SA rated helmets, so your M rated model will not always serve your purposes.  As long as you are making the investment, you might as well go for the SA-2015 once and for all.


For more information on Snell ratings, see The Snell Memorial Foundation As for helmet style, we will accept both open face and closed face helmets (with or without visors). Closed face models offer better protection, but some drivers feel claustrophobic in them. In that case, open face might be an option. If you can tolerate it, closed face helmets are preferable. Not only are they safer, but you can use them for karting and other motorsports that outlaw open face models.


You can also arrange for helmet rental by contacting the event registrar.

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