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Hampton Downs has an­nounced that it will now re­quire the use of HANS (Head and Neck Sup­port) De­vices dur­ing all track events as of 13 Au­gust 2018. Ac­cord­ing to Hampton Downs track man­ager El­ton Goo­nan, the changes have been put in place in to reaf­firm the track’s com­mit­ment to safer mo­tor­sport in New Zealand. “MSNZ [Mo­tor­Sport New Zealand] have been look­ing at en­forc­ing the use of HANS De­vices for a while now, and we feel that it’s some­thing that needs to be brought up the tree. Most guys who do track days know for them­selves, or know some­one that has had a big mo­ment where they have come away with a sore neck [from not wear­ing a HANS De­vice],” ex­plained El­ton. “It’s no dif­fer­ent to any in­dus­try per­sonal pro­tec­tion equip­ment; you have to wear steel caps in a work­shop, or a high-vis and a hard hat at a con­struc­tion site.”

With the new regs in place, driv­ers and pas­sen­gers in a ve­hi­cle fit­ted with four-point or greater har­nesses will be re­quired to wear a HANS De­vice at all times on the track to help pre­vent lat­eral head-move­ment in­juries in the event of a crash. Ve­hi­cles fit­ted with a reg­u­lar lap and di­ag­o­nal belt will re­quire the driv­ers and pas­sen­gers to wear a foam neck brace, as they do not have the pro­vi­sions for a HANS De­vice to be used cor­rectly.

“There are HANS De­vices out there at a very, very low cost that can gen­uinely save some­one’s life. As a venue, we don’t want to have the stigma of a per­son be­ing se­ri­ously in­jured when rules could be put in place for it to be pre­vented,” El­ton said.

We take a closer look at what a HANS De­vice is, how they work, and where you can get them from in a special fea­ture from page 84.

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