Simpson offers many lines of safety products, but I would like to talk about one specific product line, helmets. Simpson offers numerous different styles to accommodate every drivers needs. The various types of racing also require a wide variety of helmet options. Every racing series has different standards for driver safety equipment. For example, NASCAR’s safety standards are different than the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. Snell is the company that provides safety standards to Simpson and all other helmet manufacturers. These standards get updated every five years. Most series and racetracks have a “minimum” Snell rating. For example, if a track has a requirement of “Snell 2000” that means the helmet must not be older than the year 2000 due to outdated safety standards.
Simpson has some designs that have been around for many years. Two of the most common “classic” designs are the Bandit and the Speedway Shark. In addition to the classic styles, Simpson offers many modern designs. They are constantly doing research and designing new helmets to keep up with safety standards.
The Bandit is arguably the most popular helmet that Simpson offers. It is easily identified by its pentagon shaped front. It utilizes that shape to cover up your nose to prevent the shield from fogging up while breathing. The Bandit can be used in many forms of racing. Even though it is most common in drag racing, it is still a preferred choice among many stock car, sprint car, and go-kart drivers. The Bandit comes with provisions built in for added safety equipment such as the HANS device. You can also outfit the Bandit with radio communication equipment. The Bandit comes standard in a composite shell, but it is also offered in carbon fiber as a lightweight alternative.
There are a few different variations of the Bandit. One is the Street Bandit, which is a street legal version for motorcycle riders. It is almost identical to the regular Bandit with the exception of a larger visor area for increased peripheral vision. The Drag Bandit is another popular variation which offers a built in “head sock” that provides a fireproof barrier between the drivers head and the helmet.
Another popular classic design is the Speedway Shark. The Speedway Shark has been the most popular choice for circle track drivers for many years. It is easily identified by the extended chin spoiler and the added spoiler on the top of the helmet. The Speedway Shark has distinguished “wave eliminators” to help with aerodynamics in open air applications. It is also compatible with added safety devices like the Hybrid Pro restraint system.The Speedway Shark comes standard in a composite shell, but it is also offered in carbon fiber as a lightweight alternative.
The Speedway Shark has variations to accommodate different applications as well. One variation is the Kart Shark, which is a more economical option for go-kart racers. It is different from the Speedway Shark in the way that it doesn't have the added spoilers on the chin and top. There is also a Jr. Speedway Shark, which is identical to the Speedway Shark but it is a smaller version for younger competitors.
One of the more modern helmet designs is the CH3NO2. This helmet was specifically designed for drag