Junior Dragster Safety Concerns

21 November, 2019.

IHRA NZ are addressing some safety concerns for Junior Dragsters, to bring IHRA NZ in line with current best practice that is followed by sanctioning bodies worldwide.

In keeping with our October 14 announcement regarding junior drivers safety and the wearing of a head and neck restraint/system, IHRA has determined that that all rules in the published rule book must be enforced, especially the safety rules. Beginning with construction of your Junior dragsters. (These rules haven't changed since IHRA came to New Zealand)

At Meremere Dragway Test and Tune and Comp 2 meeting on 16-17 November 2019, we met with drivers , parents and guardians and measured frame and roll cage tubing sizes. Several junior dragsters had undersized top or bottom rails and/or roll cages. As had been agreed during the 2018/2019 season beginners class cars with under sized frames will be accepted for the current season, but after June 30 2020, they must meet specs as described in the IHRA NZ rule book.

In keeping with that from this time forward (January 11 meeting) any Master class or Advanced class entry with undersized tubing will be accepted this season but will be restricted to a minimum of a 11.90 ET.

Also Master class frames must be made from Chrome-Moly tubing, so any cars using a mild steel frame will have to enter beginners or advanced class. All Junior Dragster teams should read and understand the rules, and check everything about the way their car is run.

Some of the further concerns that have been noted are head and helmet clearance inside the roll cage, remember young people (our important junior drivers) grow fast, sometimes in bursts. These roll cage clearances could possibly change during during a season. We will be observing and measuring where necessary BUT It is up to you as a team to manage this type of safety issue.

The (correct) wearing of driver's personal safety equipment is also a concern especially arm restraints, we will be giving a greater emphasis on spot checking all classes in the staging lanes.

It is not acceptable to ignore a rule because it does not suit your team or track circumstances. Our rules are based directly on the IHRA USA rules. If any IHRA NZ member believes a current rule does not fit or work in New Zealand circumstances, the process to change the rule is to make a rule submission to your bracket rep between January 1 and March 1, for consideration at the rules meeting in May.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, if there are any questions please contact me.
Craig Cate
Technical Director
New Zealand