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 Post subject: Convertibles for HPDE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:37 pm 
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Why are some convertibles on the approved list and many others are not? I assume there is a criteria. I see a lot of German cars but no Mustangs, Camaros, or Corvettes. I had my first HPDE day in my 2015 Mustang GT. I was planning to someday get an American-made convertible to make my wife happy as a compromise, but none of these are on the list.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:24 pm 
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It is based on what rollover protection is on the car. Some cars have a roll bar or pop up protection, some don't. Ultimately it is at the discretion of the director to allow or disallow so check with the region you are in first.

You can also add a roll bar if necessary.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:05 am 
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It is also based on whether or not the manufacturer considers it rollover protection vs a "style bar" or whatever.

Note: the most popular convertible for these activities, the Mazda Miata, is not on the list either.

It isn't because we like to exclude anyone or any car, it's for participant safety...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:53 pm 
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Thanks Jon. I never suspected that certain cars were excluded for any other reason than safety. I hadn't even noticed that Miata was excluded.

I have a follow up question- also having to do with car roofs...

I am 6'5", and I don't think my head & helmet will fit inside the roofline of a C7 Corvette, my hopeful next gen HPDE car. Wearing my helmet I barely fit inside my 2015 Mustang GT by tilting the seat back a little more. I am comfortable sitting inside a C7 without a helmet, but my head is within 1.5-2 inches of the roof. Because I already have the seat all the way back for my long legs, I can't tilt the C7 seat back any further because of the two seater design, unlike the GT.

So if I did move up to a C7 in a couple years, what are my options to fit my tall self in it while wearing a helmet? My ideal car would be a Corvette Grand Sport coupe, which has a removable targa top. Would I be allowed to run HPDE with the targa top off, so that helmet has the extra inch it needs? I don't think my helmet would be protruding like R2-D2 on Luke Skywalker's X-Wing fighter, but I think the helmet needs just a little more height clearance than the C7 roof allows. I know approved convertibles run with the roof down, but what about a coupe with the targa top off?

What if I changed out the driver seat for some sort of aftermarket seat or racing seat? Would that lower my butt the 1.5 inches or so that I need to get my helmeted head into the C7? My wife who likes to drive around town would loath a racing seat. She's also 5'2", so a lower seat may mean she can't drive the car. If the wife isn't happy, then no one is happy. She also makes more income than me, so her enjoyment of this toy actually is important to me for many reasons.

Or do I just need to find a higher roof car, like a GT350?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:57 am 
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Does anyone have pictures of their roll over bars installed in their convertible gen 5 Camaros? Also, has anyone made a custom cover for the roll over bars, that will make it look more factory installed and not so 'nerf bar style-like'?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:20 pm 
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I got an answer from my instructor Enrique Gutten at HPDE at Lime Rock Yesterday. An open targa top is not allowed. NASA uses the broomstick rule for open cars with roll bars. A "broomstick" is laid across the windshield & roll bar. A helmet must be two inches under the broomstick. So my helmet peeking out the targa top would not be allowed for multiple reasons.

He recommended taking stuffing out of the seat to lower it or installing a race seat with rails that will keep the seat lower. This was a hypothetical question since I don't own a Corvette yet or anytime soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:29 am 
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Northeast is welcome to have their own additional supplemental rules and some tracks do impose additional limits on this, but nowhere in any national NASA rulebook I'm aware of does it mention a broomstick test or a 2" rule. Targas are also generally ok as per the "Allowed Convertibles with Stated Factory Rollover Protection" list posted on the national site https://www.nasaproracing.com/forms

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