Karting Body Protection Successfully Introduced


The FIA has successfully introduced Karting Body Protection (KPB) at the opening round of the European Karting Championship in Genk, Belgium earlier this year.

The combined rib and chest protector was worn by drivers under their CIK-FIA approved overalls to help them withstand heavy impacts to the torso area without injury. They will be made mandatory in all karting competitions entered on the FIA International Sporting Calendar from January 2022. 

So far five equipment manufacturers in the karting world have designed, developed and homologated CIK-FIA body protection that meets FIA Standard 8870-2018. This includes Bengio, OMP, Stilo, and Tillett, which were all worn by drivers at the round in Genk, as well as Sparco more recently. 

The Italian driver Cristian Bertuca, who competed 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 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 standard is the result of extensive research and consultation with the Industry Working Group to ensure that it is effective, accessible, and affordable for drivers racing at grassroots level.