What is a safety harness?
If you plan to use your Lotus Exige, Elise or Evora sports car at a track day in Australia then one of the first things we recommend (apart from making sure your vehicle is safe to do so) is to consider having a harness bar and Schroth racing harness installed that can be used with the factory fitted seats in the vehicle.
A harness don’t just offer security in the event of a crash though, when you are moving at speed, changing direction or accelerating and breaking heavily at a track day the harness can keep you secured in the seat so that you spend less time trying to ‘hold on’ so to speak vs using your arms and legs to control the vehicle.
What typically happens with standard seat belts is that your body will shift it’s weight in your seat and you end up using your thighs to try and brace yourself or hold onto the wheel tigher. A harness can hold you in the seat firmly to alleviate the need to do this, that’s why you see them used in nearly every motorsport category around the world.
A harness when used together with a HANS device can help prevent the mass of your body from moving within the seat and car. The wide straps of a racing harness spread the force across your hips, shoulders and chest, some of the strongest parts of the body. A quality, certified Schroth harness is one of the most popular upgrades for Elise and Exige owners.
Can a safety harness be installed into an Exige or Elise sports car?
Simply Sports Cars in Sydney or Melbourne can install a harness bar together with Schroth 4 or 6 point safety harness to an Elise, Exige or Evora. Most Lotus sports cars have driver and passenger seats from the factory that have the necessary locators in the headrest for a harness to be threaded through and used easily.
There is also space on either side of the seat to have a 4 or 6 point harness installed with the buckles tucked away from sight when not in use.
The harness bar can be installed behind the seats without needing to make major modifications to the vehicle and you still have use of the rear speakers (depending on their depth)
Do you need a 4 or 6 point harness?
Depending on what type of driving you will be doing you may need either a 4 or 6 point racing harness. For most of the track days in Australia a 4 point harness is ideal. 4 point harnesses are normally used in sports cars that occasionally go to the track where the driver wants a bit more security and safety vs the typical factory 3 point lap sash belt.
The good thing about a 4 point harnesses is they will work with most factory style seats even ones that don’t have a crotch belt / belts needing to go through the seat to the floor. Under Motorsport Australia requirements a 4 point Harness is good for entry level events such as single sprints, gymkhanas and fun day style track events – though once you move into a more serious motorsport events a 5 or 6 point harness is required which we can also help supply and install.
In Australia we typically supply and install the Schroth 4 point professional harness with wrap attachment shoulder belts and lap straps. It has a rotary buckle that is attached to the inboard lap belot and optional crutch strap facility. It means for daily driving you use the regular seatbelts & then when you are doing a track day or tarmac rally event you use the harness which can be installed for both the driver and passenger seats.
The installation is discrete so that it doesn’t attract unwanted attention when your vehicle is driven on the road.
Do you need a HANS device with a harness?
Depending on what level of motorsport you are participating in a HANS Device may be considered mandatory. We recommend all drivers to use a HANS Device together with a harness as it means you have a head and body restraint in the vehicle which are priority safety items. There are lots of variations and devices made out of different materials to suit different size drivers.
Where can you buy a safety harness for an Elise or Exige?
Simply Sports Cars sells a range of harness options for Elise, Exige and Evora. Contact us to get more details