THE SHOP

Performance Business - May '13

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Over the years, SFI has developed programs for nearly 80 different products used by manufacturers, motorsports groups and consumers worldwide. Mike Hurst, SFI Technical Manager Shops that understand SFI certifications can offer a real service to racers, creating loyal, repeat customers. Hurst explains. "In the last few years, the SFI 39.1 manufacturers, particularly those building aluminum seats, have incorporated clever and elegant design features to meet the performance requirements while reducing seat weight and cost. Some in the industry thought the (new) levels were impossible for an aluminum seat, but the knowledge gained from their development has now also influenced the design of SFI 39.2 Stock Car Type Racing Seats (Standard), making better seats available to even more racers." This is a Test Such breakthroughs are regularly made at the SFI facility in Poway, Calif. 46 n Performance Business PBMAY 2.indd 46 n Participating manufacturers pay for development and administration of the programs through licensing fees and/or unit charges, and interested associations have also provided grants and donations. Each SFI specification or standard has its own technical committee that oversees its development and ongoing review. The committees are comprised of product manufacturers, sanctioning body technical officials, and independent experts and engineers. "They assess each standard against current conditions, usually every two years or more frequently if necessary," Faye says. "This practice ensures (products) remain relevant to their intended purpose. SFI views its specifications as living documents that continuously adapt as needed to the everchanging motorsports environment." If a manufacturer updates or changes a product, it is immediately retested. "The purpose of revalidation testing is to demonstrate that the product continues to meet the minimum standard on an ongoing basis," Faye explains. "This practice strengthens the industry, because it assures the consumer that the certified products they're buying and using on the track should perform to the levels they expect." Certified products are identified by the well-recognized SFI sticker, tag or patch affixed to the item, certifying that it meets the minimum standard. SFI currently has formal working relationships with more than 200 motorsports sanctioning bodies, clubs and facilities worldwide—a number that continues to grow as new forms of competition emerge. "New sanctioning bodies and racing leagues present a number of challenges to SFI. Foremost among them is helping them understand how SFI's safety-related programs and services can be of great benefit to them and their participants," Olson says. "Once a line of communication and a formal working relationship have been developed, progress toward a much safer competition environment is achieved very quickly and efficiently." Each new participant brings along its own unique set of requirements, often resulting in the need for new or updated standards. SFI can respond quickly, Olson notes, thanks to modern advancements in communication and testing techniques. "The ease with which information can be shared electronically definitely helps SFI disseminate important information to the industry, whether it is the listing of new participating manufacturers on our website (www.SFIfoundation.com), or notifying sanctioning body officials and manufacturers of specification revisions," he says. "On the technical side, the development of SFI specs benefits greatly from data gathered both in the laboratory and on the track." May 2013 3/29/13 10:46 AM

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