ROPS for Single Seat Racing Cars
Technical Director Russ Giles has approached the MSA concerning the recent issues over Roll Over Protection Systems ("ROPS") as the issue applies to Monoposto. The following response has been received from the MSA Technical Department. Many thanks to the MSA for their help.
I thought it best to answer your questions (in italics) in order so please see my comments in blue below. But I will stress that there is nothing new, no new regulations, no new enforcement, the single seater ROPS regulations were last amended in 1987 and before that in 1977. The “focus” is due to it being highlighted to us that a few manufacturers of Sprint and Hill Climb single seaters were producing cars with ROPS that did not comply with MSA regulations. Note that the ROPS regulations for Single Seaters in Sprints and Hill climbs are the same as for circuit racing. The manufacturers were brought together for a meeting and following this most manufacturers are being proactive in rectifying the issue.
Due to the number of queries received on this topic we are developing a guidance article to be published in the MSA newsletter and on our website stating what the existing requirements are. We hope for this to be available within the first couple of weeks of the new year.
To answer your specific queries;
Most of our members use cars that have been used in other professional race series in the past. Some do not conform to the dimensional requirements for tube diameters Etc laid out in the blue book, but have been approved and certificated by the MSA or FIA in period. The proof of this is the existence of the certificates for the various vehicles. I am led to believe that the MSA holds a comprehensive record of these certificates, and these can be made available for those owners that do not have access to the certificates for their car.
Any vehicle certified by the MSA, FIA or any FIA recognised ASN is acceptable and remains acceptable providing the ROPS is as detailed on the certification. We hold records of all MSA certified ROPS. Owners of vehicles with MSA issued certification can contact us to obtain an official copy.
Can you please confirm what your guidelines will be for the scrutineering teams for next season regarding the ROPS?
No different, there are no new regulations so scrutineers should be enforcing the existing regulations as they always have done.
Will you be expecting all the competitors to produce ROPS certificates at scrutineering?
No, ROPS certificates are only required to be presented where a ROPS is certified by an ASN or the FIA. For a ROPS built to the Blue Book specification does not need any certification. Where a ROPS is certified it has always been a requirement for it to be presented at scrutineering (K1.5.1). Also vehicles with ROPS built and approved to FIA Formulae regulations (F3, F3000 etc..) or FIA Appendix J are not required to present certification providing the vehicle structure still complies to these regulations, the onus on proof of compliance lies with the competitor.
Can you provide a listing or catalogue of what ROPS certificates are available from the MSA?
It would be better for any competitors who want to check for certification to contact us directly and we will advise.
Is there an age of vehicle where there are different ROPS requirements, I have seen Pre 1986 mentioned, but I can see no mention of this in the blue book.
The Blue Book specification changed for the 1987 season, prior to 1987 the MSA regulations allowed either a 35x2mm Chromoly Tube or a 42.4x2.6mm CDS tube, from 1987 only the 42.4x2mm CDS tube was permitted for an MSA Specification ROPS. Changes in ROPS regulations are not retrospectively applied, so a pre-1987 car with a 35x2mm Chromoly ROPS remains eligible. Remember that for a certified ROPS the Blue Book material specifications do not apply, the dimensions will be detailed on the certificate.
I hope this helps clarify.
Thanks & Best Regards