NZ Performance Car - - Contents - Mar­cus Gib­son Email: mar­[email protected]­for­mance­car.co.nz In­sta­gram: mar­cus_nzpc­magazine

Mo­tor­sport, no mat­ter on what level you par­tic­i­pate, from grasskhanas to the top ranks of New Zealand cir­cuit rac­ing, is dan­ger­ous. We all know it; hell, do you think all those safety crews and am­bu­lance staff hang out track­side poised for ac­tion all week­end just for the free en­try? So, when one of the big­gest tracks in New Zealand goes and makes head re­straints manda­tory for all com­peti­tors and pas­sen­gers, at no real fi­nan­cial gain to its busi­ness, why are so many of us get­ting up in arms, scream­ing about how much it costs, when all we should be do­ing is ask­ing, ‘Where do I buy one?’

Full dis­clo­sure here: I’m yet to pur­chase one my­self, but I fully in­tend to be­fore my first ac­tual race event, even if that means miss­ing a race or two so that I can af­ford one. Why? Be­cause I think the re­quired in­vest­ment of well un­der $1K is a small price to pay know­ing just how much safer I’ll be in my home-built death ma­chine. What it re­ally comes down to is what value you put on your own life, your mo­bil­ity, or sim­ply be­ing able to get up and go to work to pay for your au­to­mo­tive habit. Even if you only at­tend the odd track day, all it takes is one crash and your life could be over. While that might sound a lit­tle OTT, it’s hap­pened of­ten enough be­fore; why do you think they in­vented the damn things in the first place? Just ask guys like Andy Duf­fin, ‘Mad Mike’ Whid­dett, Rob­bie Ward, or Owen Evans — all of who are ex­tremely lucky to still be alive to­day — how quickly things can go wrong in a race car.

I didn’t in­tend for this to sound like some sort of scare-tac­tic sales pitch, but if you study mo­tor­sport his­tory in any depth, you’ll see how many driv­ers who, chances are, would be alive to­day had they been wear­ing such de­vices. I get that they are ex­pen­sive, but, in my eyes, they should be just as im­por­tant as a de­cent roll cage, seats, or har­ness, and while I’m sure there are those who are pissed that they have to have even those ba­sic safety de­vices, a head re­straint is now just an added ex­tra. In light of this, we have put to­gether a small tech piece on page 84 to point you in the right di­rec­tion, and I sug­gest you give it a read over be­fore buy­ing. I also im­plore you to try on a few dif­fer­ent mod­els be­fore pulling the trig­ger, as they all feel a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. Scare-tac­tic sales pitch over.

In other news, I’d like to ex­tend a big thanks to all those who I yarned to or who gave me a hand with the BMW at Chrome. We man­aged to sneak in a few test laps for the new in­ter­cooler and swag of other changes. It didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, but the issues were su­per mi­nor and eas­ily fixed. Now, to save for a head re­straint so I can cut some se­ri­ous laps.

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