Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

Marketing through Motorsports
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi John,

I am having trouble logging into Special Stage.com to post my review of the HANS Devise. Must be operator error!!! Would you mind posting this on my behalf? I would like to get the information out there as requested by many at MFR.


At the Maine Forest Rally last weekend, I got the opportunity to use a HANS Device for the first time. As far as I know, I am the first co-driver to test this device in performance rallying.

A little background. I have been considering purchasing a HANS for several years, but the cost seemed to outweigh the benefit. Additionally, I was concerned about mobility inside the car as well as entry and egress from the car. My old race team owner/driver had one of the original HANS units and it was very difficult for him to get in and out of the car. And he is small. Those who know me know that I am a normal sized guy like Lurch.

Oregon changed all that and moved a decision to a top priority. I talked to Mark Utecht at OTPR about his HANS that he has used for more than a year. Mark was very helpful and encouraged me to try something. In addition, the previous SS thread regarding head & neck restraints was very useful. I researched all of the Web sites (HANS, Simpson, Hutchins, etc.). After doing my research, I concluded that none of the devices on the market really help significantly in a direct side impact. So, I decided that I would go with clearly the best protection for frontal impact (and up to 30 degrees per side) ? the HANS device.

I contacted Jim Downing - a friend from my road racing days ? builder and co-designer of the HANS. Jim helped me select the HANS 20L ? Adult Large Upright Economy model based on my usage in a rally car (i.e. sedan). Jim felt I would not have any up-down mobility issues and the left-right mobility would be more than adequate. Also, the newer designs are much smaller than the older unit I had seen and so getting in and out would not be difficult.

I received the device on Wednesday, the day before I flew out to Maine. I was concerned about the location of the posts on my Peltor. The Web site instructions placed the posts on a major curve. After talking it over with Paul Humphreys at Hubbard/Downing, several times, I took their recommendation and located the posts 5.25 inches on each side of the rear centerline. This worked out excellent and the installation is very clean.

During my test fitting in the car, the only issue I found was making sure the shoulder belts get up on top on the device properly. Once there, the belts did not slide off. I was able to enter the car with helmet and HANS on, exit with both in place as well as fit and remove both while inside the car. No problems.

Unfortunately, my real life test ended at the end of stage #3 with suspension failure (OK departure). But, until that point, I was impressed with the fit and function of the HANS. My head mobility up and down was unrestricted. This was a great relief, since I read course notes. My side-to-side head travel was limited to 45 degrees, but my eyesight was slightly more that 90 degrees on each side. Considering the purpose of the unit, I thought that was great. It was comfortable and made me feel more secure in the car. While on the stages, I never knew I had it on.

In conclusion, it all comes down to personal preference. Like Mark U. said, ?I would also highly recommend looking at all types of head and neck restraint devices available and choose which would be best for your situation?. I truly believe that nothing would have helped Mark L. and Roger F. in their accident. Not all crashes are survivable. I was looking for something that would help give me some more protection. The HANS works and I recommend it.

And BTW, my wife and family appreciate my decision. So, I at least earned some points.


Lee Sorenson
#60 PGT

Four tree two remember Andrew
1,653 Posts
After reading the SAE TECHNICAL PAPER SERIES 2002-01-3304, "Sled Test Evaluation of Racecar Head/Neck Restraints," I am convinced that the HANS is currently the best device on the market, and would encourage anyone considering the investment in such a device to read it as well.

I am encourged about the mobility found in real life testing above.

For you open faced helmet folks (probably most of us), the FIA also recommends use of the HANS device with an open-faced helmet.

As always, price is an object. At about $1200, it is not cheap. My money is slowly being set-aside. Maybe by Christmas.



your other left, you idiot
4,013 Posts

Thank you for sharing this with the class.

I had dinner with Lee Sunday at Maine, and the actual telling of how the HANS worked in real life really helped (especially for those of us on the correct side of the car). Now, to get off my butt and actually do it.

press on,
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.