Keeping You As Safe As Possible whilst On Track

Safety can often be overlooked and should be one of the top priorities in your track car. As they, say motorsport is dangerous and driving round circuit at speed, alone or amongst others, is inherently risky! There are a whole host of upgrades you can make to your car to maximise your personal safety, and that of others around you, providing peace of mind and confidence in yourself and the car when you set out on track. Read on to develop your understanding on all things track safety.

Fire Extinguishers & Suppression

Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Fire Extinguisher
Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Fire Extinguisher

Much like car insurance, fire safety is something you hope never to have to use. That said, it pays to be prepared and whilst track side marshals are equipped with extinguishers, when it comes to fires, the sooner you can get to it the less damage is caused. As always there is a variety of products available to best equip yourself and your car to fight fire, ranging from handheld solutions to fully plumbed fire suppression systems.

Arguably one of the most effective handheld solutions on the market is the Fire Safety Stick, available in several sizes it boasts a compact, lightweight design and uses a long-life solid mineral construction which is longer lasting in use and residue free compared to traditional fire extinguishers. For the majority of occasional track day ‘goers’ this or a suitably sized handheld extinguisher will be up to the job and easy to secure somewhere easily accessed from the driver’s seat.

For the more dedicated track car or, your out and out race car there is the option to plumb in a larger fire extinguisher which is a more dedicated solution. Typically, such a system will allow 3-4 nozzles to be strategically placed both inside the engine bay and in the cabin providing protection for the occupant and spraying the contents of the extinguisher directly on to the most likely source of a fire, the engine! Don’t forget traditional fire extinguishers will require periodic servicing/inspection to keep it primed and ready should you ever need to rely on it.

Our recommend brands for fire extinguishers


Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Schroth Harness
Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Harness

The publicly recognised sign of a ‘racing car’ – the safety harness… First things first these are strictly only for use with fixed back seats, use of racing harnesses in conjunction with any sort of reclining seat can lead to serious injury in the event of an accident and as such is something advised against! With that said a correctly installed and secured harness is the one thing other than extreme acceleration that is guaranteed to keep you pinned in your seat!

Once again there are a range of options when it comes to harnesses encompassing different styles and number of securing straps. Starting with a basic 3-point harness, moving right through 4 and 5-point solutions to a race-ready 6-point harness you can select your harness based on fitting options and the level of safety you desire. 5 & 6-point harnesses feature an additional anti-submarining feature in the form of a single or twin crotch strap designed to prevent you from sliding out the bottom of the seat under heavy braking or in a crash. Most race series require a HANS (head and neck support) device which will require a thinner shoulder strap, it’s worth planning ahead if you plan to compete or intent to use a HANS device with your crash helmet.

One of the most important things to consider when planning to use a harness is to make sure it is installed correctly, of course we can help you with this but the key points here are suitable anchors at floor level and an appropriate fitted angle in the shoulder straps. Often to achieve an appropriate fitment in the shoulder straps its easiest to utilise some sort of dedicated harness bar or roll cage where available.

Our recommend brands for harness upgrades


Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Corbeau Seats
Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Tillett Seats

Being the one part that keeps you the driver in contact with the car, the humble seat can form a big part of your enjoyment of your time on track. Factory seats come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and finishes and whilst some hot hatches feature a more dedicated seat its common for a factory seat to lack the sort of support and security that you might like when cornering at high speed on circuit which is where a sports or bucket seat comes into its own.

Choice of seat comes down to your specific car and requirements, whilst reclinable sports seats are available, which allows easy adjustment and access to rear seats in a 3-door road car situation, they do preclude the uses of harness. That said fixed bucket/race seats aren’t without compromise however, they do offer the most dedicated solution and offer the greatest amount of safety should the worst happen. It’s also worth noting that they will offer a significant weight reduction over a standard seat, particularly if you opt to have one made from carbon fibre which of course we can’t recommend highly enough!

Our best advice would be to try and get yourself sat in a few different seats, there are many styles available and usually in a series of sizes to suit different body shapes so trying-before you buy will ensure that you end up with a seat that is comfortable for you whilst still hugging you tight enough to ensure you don’t spill out mid corner. Remember, you will need accessories to get your seat mounted in the car and in terms of a fixed seat most likely a harness to keep you strapped in too.

Our recommend brands for seat upgrades

Steering Wheels

Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Track Steering Wheel
Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Race Steering Wheel

The other main contact point with the car is the steering wheel, clearly upgrading this component will make a significant difference to your experience behind the wheel. Reasons why you might consider changing your steering wheel are as follows: removal of driver’s airbag, the option to change the size of steering wheel, ability to move the steering wheel closer to you as the driver and a material finish allowing better, more consistent grip on the wheel over your sweaty & worn original!

There are plentiful options when choosing a new steering wheel for your car: look at diameter (size), dish (depth), material finish (suede, Alcantara, leather, even carbon fibre!) and lastly fitting accessories. When it comes to fitting a motorsport style wheel to your car you need to think about the equipment needed for it to fit your car – with all wheels you’ll need a mounting boss specific to your vehicle, airbag delete resistors can allow you to turn off warning lights on the dash, you also need to put thought to whether you want to retain any electrical functions by utilising a switch panel and more critically if your car is automatic then don’t forget with removal of your factory steering wheel might come loss of you shift paddles.

Carbonwurks have developed road going steering wheels to encompass LED shift lights as well as more ergonomic grips and material finishes (including carbon fibre). We base these off original wheels which is great if you want to still retain usability while adding to the driving experience.

One final note, when considering conversion of a road car for track use, loss of driver’s airbag will prevent you from passing your MOT so if this is a concern for you then you might consider re-trimming your standard steering wheel.

Our recommend brands for steering wheel upgrades

Roll Cage

Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Roll Cage
Carbonwurks Track Car Build - Roll Cage

Deciding to fit a roll cage is probably one of the biggest steps you can take to not only improve the safety of your track car but also stiffen up the chassis at the same time. Having a roll cage will require removal of interior trim, rear seats in particular, and will make your car particularly dedicated towards track use. Especially considering you’d be well advised to install a roll cage only in conjunction with fixed bucket seats & harnesses as well as removal of airbags too.

Roll cages are available in an array of specifications to suit your individual needs, from bolt in rear half cages to full weld-in motorsport level equipment there’s a cage solution for almost everyone. Occasional use track cars will commonly utilise the rear half cage option where a good amount of the original interior can be retained. Often referred to as ClubSport specification, this will offer rollover protection and a method for mounting harnesses without compromising your comfort. A bolt-in style product will require little or no modifications to the bodyshell making it a reversible process should that be important to you.

Beyond a bolt-in rear half cage things start to get somewhat more serious, a full cage is no small undertaking but does offer the ultimate upgrade in terms of chassis stiffness and crash protection. Typically, this will require complete removal of seats and interior trim in order to fit the cage particularly as at least some welding will be required for mounting points/reinforcements needed to install the cage. Cage specification can vary with additional side impact protection available as well as extra diagonal braces for added strength and rigidity. You would not fit a full cage without fixed race seats and harness restraints as for your own personal safety you need to guarantee that you’re not going to contact any part of the roll cage itself in the event of an accident. As such it’s advised to always wear a helmet in this scenario, something which is mandatory for circuit use anyway.

Our recommend brands for roll cages

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