The British Motor Sports Council, the MSA’s rule-making body, has voted to mandate the use of Frontal Head Restraints in Stage Rallying, Hill Climb and Sprint – with certain exceptions in each – from 2016 onward.

The decision was taken yesterday (9 June) at a Council’s meeting in, held at Motor Sports House.

After a very lengthy debate, it was decided that from 1 January 2016 an FIA-approved FHR will be mandatory for all Stage Rally competitors, except for those in Historic Category One vehicles, for whom it will be a recommendation in 2016 and mandatory from 2017.

It was also decided that from 1 January 2016 an FIA-approved FHR will be mandatory for all Hill Climb and Sprint competitors, except for those in Period Defined Vehicles, Road-going Series Production Cars and Road-going Specialist Production Cars. Nonetheless, it will be recommended for those excepted competitors.

The relevant new regulations – along with all others approved by Motor Sports Council yesterday – will be published in due course.

“This is an important decision, which I appreciate will not be universally popular; I understand that it will place an additional financial burden on competitors and I empathize with those affected. said Tony Scott Andrews, Chairman of Motor Sports Council.

I do however believe that the governing body has a responsibility to ensure so far as possible the safety of its competitors and the decision has been taken in pursuit of that aim.

“We believe that an FHR has become as much a part of a competitor’s safety equipment as a seat, belts, protective clothing and helmet. We were very keen to announce this particular regulation change immediately in order to give competitors as much notice as possible.”

Restraints are already mandatory for circuit racing competitors in post-2000 single-seat cars and will be mandatory across circuit racing, except for Period Defined vehicles, from 2016.

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