Mandatory in FIA Karting Championships, Cups and Trophies from the 2021 season, the new FIA Standard 8870-2018 “Karting Body Protection (KBP)” featured in the OK and OK-Junior categories at the opening round of the FIA European Karting Championship in Genk, Belgium last month.
The combined chest and rib protector are worn by drivers under their CIK-FIA approved overalls. Following approval from the FIA World Motor Sport Council in December 2020, in addition to the FIA Karting events, the protection will be compulsory in all karting competitions entered on the FIA International Sporting Calendar from January 2022.
Four equipment manufacturers active in the karting world have designed, developed and homologated with the CIK-FIA the body protection in accordance with the FIA Standard 8870-2018. All four products from Bengio, OMP, Stilo and Tillett were worn by the drivers in Genk.
The KBP standard was developed the FIA Safety Department to prevent three forms of injury: impact with flat or curved structures; impact with steering wheel or edge of the seat; and impact with the steering column. It can withstand 60J of energy to the chest and 100J of energy to the ribs, while ensuring the maximum force transmitted to the body is no more than 1kN during an impact. The KBP is available in both male and female versions.
The Italian driver Cristian Bertuca, who competed in OK in Genk, said: “Most drivers are already used to racing with a very stiff rib protector, this system adds protection to the chest. We remain free to move our arms, neck and head. You have to adjust it precisely with the straps so that you are perfectly comfortable in your seat.”
The KBP standard is the result of extensive research and consultation with the FIA’s Industry Working Group (IWG), to ensure that a product was created that is effective, accessible, and affordable for drivers at grassroots level.
Adam Baker, FIA Safety Director, said: “In collaboration with the Industry Working Group (IWG), we developed the KBP to specifically address the rib and chest injuries which are commonplace in karting. I am pleased that the feedback we have received from the competitors at the KBP’s first competitive outing in Genk was very positive.”
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