Thanks to Al Gore and lower prices driver cooling systems is no longer a luxury item. Regardless of the systems manufacture or the size of the cooler (ice chest) when car interior temps reach over 115 degrees, which can easily happen on a day where ambient temperature is 80, grocery store ice will become warm water in 15-minutes. Block ice is the way to go but store-bought blocks are way too large to fit.
Here is a economical way to to make your own Driver Cooling System Ice Blocks at home.
STEP ONE: Wash out a 1 Gallon plastic milk/juice jug and fill with tap water about 1.5 inches below where the handle begins.
STEP TWO: Place in freezer for at least 48 hours.
STEP THREE: Remove from freezer & ice and from jug (cut the top off and slit the sides of the bottom half).
STEP THREE: Once ice block is removed from the jug place it back in the freezer. Depending on your climate and the size of your systems cooler, I recommend at least four ice blocks for each day of the event and to start making them three weeks in advance.
STEP FOUR: Pack as many ice-blocks as you can in your systems cooler adding regular ice-cubes between, around & on-top of the blocks. Once it’s good and full of ice fill with cool water. I prefer to pre-treat the water with a few ounces of algaecide to keep all the systems hoses flowing.
STEP FIVE: After each session remove the systems cooler from the racecar and place it in a shady area under a towel. When prepping for next on-track session, pour/drain off excess water and add new ice-blocks & cubes.
The Head and Neck System, HANS for short, is a safety device which became mandatory for the drivers in 2003. The purpose of HANS is to reduce the loads on the driver’s head and neck caused by massive deceleration during an accident. This helps reduce the risk of the driver suffering neck and skull fractures – these are the biggest causes of death in motorsport accidents.
HANS was invented in the mid 1980s by Dr. Robert Hubbard, a professor of biomechanical engineering at Michigan State University. Hubbard and his brother-in-law Jim Downing realised that many racing injuries were due to a lack of head restraint.
When a car makes contact with a wall, it will stop very suddenly. However the laws of physics mean that the head and body will continue to travel towards the wall until they are stopped by their safety restraints. Without head and neck restraints, the head continues forward and hyperextends. The bottom of the rear of the skill can crack from the stress and in doing so, destroy nerve cells that control life functions, cut arteries and cause blood loss.
The HANS device is a semi-hard collar made of carbon fibre and kevlar which weights about 1 pound. It is held onto the upper body by a harness which is worn by the driver. Three flexible tethers on the helmet are connected to the collar. The tethers are loose enough to allow for free movement of the head in ordinary circumstances.
In a crash, the energy absorbed by the neck and skull will be reduced significantly and the force is more directed towards the forehead, which is much better suited to taking the force. Figures suggest that the HANS can reduce head movement in a crash by up to 44%, reduce the force applied to the neck by up to 86% and the acceleration applied to the head by up to 68%