Question on new seat belt rule E 1105 B.4


I understand that this rule passed, and that both FIA and SFI belts are now good for 5 years. Here is my question: My SFI belts are stamped August 2012. Can I now use them until December 31, 2017 or do I have to replace them?

I just want to be sure before I show up to the track with expired belts and not be able to race!

Thank in advance for the reply.

With the new rule change your SFI belts stamped August 2012 are now good until December 31, 2017. You will not have to replace your belts.
I thought we were constrained by what SFI said in this regard? I seem to recall that SCCA made this change before we did; did they get SFI to change their policy or something? Or did SFI change their minds on their own?
Well, I find it hard to believe that this could possibly be a controversial topic if:
  • SFI changed their "requirement" based on additional testing, facing up to reality, whatever
  • SCCA found a way to work around SFI's policy and ICSCC has found a way to piggy-back on it
The controversy would be some variation on SCCA deciding they weren't willing to kow-tow to SFI anymore and ICSCC deciding to take the same risk, or perhaps ICSCC just decided to tell SFI to lump it.
Ok Rick I will take the bait.

ICSCC decided to follow SCCA's lead in changing the seat belt rule. ICSCC honors SCCA annual tech inspections so if the change wasn't made, ICSCC technically would have two different standards for seat belts.

In my research it appears all FIA and SFI belts are made from the same material. So why does FIA say the belts are good for 5 years and SFI says 2 years?

In speaking with the SFI Foundation, they have not changed their certification. However, the reason for SFI's 2 year certification instead of 5 years is because the seat belt material can deteriorate if left out in the sun over time. Since SFI does not know if drivers are going to leave their race cars outside unprotected from the sun over a long period of time, they are only willing to certify the belts for 2 years. It seems FIA is not as concerned about this problem as much as SFI .

SCCA made the change to allow SFI certified belts to expire in 5 years from year of manufacture with a few provisions which ICSCC will follow.

The belts need to be inspected each year for wear, fraying, grease, oil or sun damage before being approved to race.

So drivers, just because the seat belt passes the date test, does not mean it will pass the other inspections necessary to be approved for racing. Please do your own inspection prior to arriving at the race track and if you have any of the above issues with your belts, buy some new ones.
Well, as I understand it, even 5-year FIA-rated belts could fail tech inspection due to actual condition vs. date, so there's not a huge change there. The real question is, How does this change impact our (and SCCA's) "membership" in the SFI Foundation? Wasn't joining them a requirement for us to even refer to them in our documentation? Aren't we supposedly bound by their rules? Or am I speaking out of class ...?

(For that matter, how many people are even aware of SFI's strong-arm tactics in the first place?)

The only reason ICSCC has a membership in the SFI Foundation is so we can reference SFI in our Competition Regulations. ICSCC is not required to follow their certification time lines.

I can't speak for SCCA, but I assume it is the same for them.