Vehicle Safety Requirements

  1. Seat Belts/Harness: All race cars must be equipped with an approved 5 or 6 point racing safety harness of nylon web material. Lap and shoulder belts must be a minimum of 2” wide. All harness mounting points must be metal-to-metal to the car’s frame or suitable sub-structure. Safety harness must bear either a date of manufacture or an expiration date (good till 12/31 of the year listed) and must be no more than 5 years old. Some belts will only be good for 2 years. Open cockpit cars must have a nylon web material arm restraints of no less than 1” in width. Belts must be properly installed with proper fasteners and be in good condition with no fraying or hydrocarbon or sunlight damage.
  2. Arm Restraints: All open cockpit race cars shall have driver’s arm restraints. Restraints should be worn on the forearms of drivers so that it prevents the arm of the driver from extending beyond the confines of the vehicle in the event of a roll-over. Restraints should clip into the belt latch quick release. Race suit sew-in restraints are acceptable.
  3. Driver Apparel/Equipment:
    1. Helmets: All drivers must wear an approved helmet with a Snell Safety Foundation designation of SA2015 or newer. No “M” helmets allowed. An approved neck restraint system, dated within 5 years, is required in all classes. No neck collar bolsters are allowed.
    2. Driving Suit: All race drivers must wear a fire resistant suit of two or more layers. The suit must be made of Nomex or equal. One layer suits must be worn with Nomex or equal underwear. Socks must also be of Nomex or equal material.
    3. Eye Protection: Goggles or a protective face shield must be worn in open cockpit cars and non-breakable eye-protection or face shields must be worn in closed cars.
    4. Gloves: Driving gloves must be of Nomex or equal material.
    5. Hoods: Drivers with long hair or beards must wear Nomex or equal hoods/balaclavas.
    6. Shoes: Drivers shoes must be manufactured of fire resistant material or with all-leather on the upper portion of the shoe.
  4. Window Safety Net: All enclosed cockpit race cars must have an approved window safety net or shall have driver’s arm restraints. Window nets shall have a quick-release system and fall down when released.
  5. Fire Protection: All race cars must be equipped with at least a 2 lb. dry chemical fire extinguisher, securely mounted in the cockpit of the car within reach of the driver, or an onboard manual or automatic fire suppression system. All systems must have a visible gauge to verify contents and in AFF systems an unpunctured CO2 cartridge and AFF systems to be filled to manufactures recommended weight. Bottle safety pins must be removed before entering track. Remote actuators need to be clearly labeled for location. Race cars with Lithium-Ion batteries must display a special “Li” sticker near remote actuator sticker.
  6. Electrical Cut-Off Switch: All race cars are to be equipped with a switch that is exterior mounted and/or easily accessible from the exterior. Electrical cut-off switch must be clearly labeled for activation. The switch must completely cut-off all electrical power including engine ignition and fuel pump when in the “off” position. If charging system is present, switch must cut off all power and engine at 3000 rpm.
  7. Wheels: Wheels must be in good condition, with no cracks or excessive damage. Wire wheels must be in good condition with even tension on all spokes. No holes.
  8. Eyebolt: All production race cars must have a front-mounted “eyebolt” or equivalent with which to tow the car if disabled. A rear tow hook is also recommended.
  9. Suspension: The suspension and steering systems shall not have excessive play.
  10. Catch Tanks: No oil, coolant, or other fluid leaks shall exist. Catch tanks of no less than one (1) quart for each type of liquid are required for engines, radiators, etc. Metal or high-heat resistant material is required for catch tanks.
  11. General Appearance: Cars shall not have frayed or damaged wiring. When passing through sheet metal, hoses and wiring shall be protected. No open holes allowed through firewall or floors. Car numbers are to appear on each side and on the hood or rear deck, be permanent in nature, be no less than 10” high, with no less than a 1.5” width, and be in contrasting color to be readily visible. If race officials determine the numbers are not suitable, they must be altered or replaced before the car may enter the track. “Shoe Polish” numbers are NOT allowed. All numbers must appear neat and professional. Magnetic numbers are allowed, so long as they do not come off at speed.
  12. Brake Lights: All race cars originally equipped with brake lights must have at least one light in proper working order. All formula cars and sports racers must have an operable “rain light.” All light lenses must be “taped” with clear or other tape. Lenses with clear coating for the purpose of retaining shards will be acceptable.
  13. Rearview Mirror: All race cars must have a least one rearview mirror. It is strongly recommended that mirrors should be sufficient to give visibility to the left, right and center rear.
  14. Vehicle Security: All body panels, hoods, decks, doors, batteries, catch cans, etc. shall be adequately secured in place. Battery terminals, including starter, starter solenoid and cut off switch terminals shall be covered. Cockpit mounted batteries must be held in place with a sturdy metal strap and bolted securely through the structure. Large backing washers must be used to prevent tear through. Cockpit mounted batteries should be in a battery box when possible. Seats shall be securely mounted and braced.
  15. Fuel Cells: CVAR defines fuel cells to be a fuel holding bladder enclosed in a metal container. Exceptions may be granted where exceptional authenticity issues are involved. All bladders should be in good condition and not leaking. Roll over valves must be free and vented to the exterior of vehicle. It is recommended that cell vent lines be filtered to prevent ingress of dust and dirt. All fuel lines running through cockpit must be of either hard metal or flexible braided steel construction, including fuel pressure gauges.
  16. Brakes: Brakes must have adequate suitable pedal movement and sufficient fluid in the master cylinder. No visible or apparent leaks, with or without being under pressure and must operate on all wheels. Brake hoses must be in in good condition with no abrasions or cracks. Brake pads or linings must be equal to or exceed original equipment. Brake fluid quality must be clear (amber) and without debris.
  17. Battery: Batteries should be mounted in their original location or where specified by the GCR.  Batteries in those locations must be secured properly with metal bolting to the body of the vehicle with a metal holding strap.  No rubber, nylon or plastic strapping allowed.  Hot terminals should be properly protected.  No duct tape. 

    In some cases it may be necessary to relocate the battery due to a conflict with other safety requirements (location of the fuel cell, for example).  Cars that have their battery located in the passenger compartment must be properly secured.  Please see diagram below with an example of installation.  Installations may vary.  It will be at the discretion of the technical inspector if the installation meets the minimum requirement.  There are affordable aftermarket suppliers of battery mounting equipment for sealed and vented batteries for racing applications. Sealed batteries do not require encasement in a container.  Vented lead acid batteries must be in an encased container approved for the application. Venting of non sealed batteries must be to the outside of the vehicle.

    For any battery located in the passenger compartment, a minimum of 5/16 inch grade 5 bolts or all thread that extends from the top strap of 14ga steel or 12 ga aluminum, through the floor though large reinforcing washers (fender).  Angle frame around the base of the battery to be of a minimum 14ga steel or  12ga aluminum.  No rubber, nylon or plastic allowed as a method of securing the battery in the vehicle.  Vehicles with fiberglass as the only structure to secure the battery in the passenger compartment, must have reinforcement to the chassis, to prevent pull through in the event of an incident.
  18. Roll Bars/Cages: Race cars must have a roll bar or roll cage that is, at a minimum, original to the time of the car’s manufacture and/or meets the 1972 SCCA General Competition Rules, except Historic and Prewar cars. CVAR recognizes the significance of Historic and Prewar cars and does not require roll bars but highly recommends their installation. Post 1972 cars must have roll-over protection, current with their organization’s requirements, as long as they exceed CVAR rules and regulations. Bars within proximity of driver’s helmet must be padded with SFI-45.1 padding material. Roll bars and cages must be of good design, construction and installation. If the entrant is unsure of the vehicles current design or installation, it is the entrant’s responsibility to seek the expertise of a professional roll bar/cage fabricator prior to submitting the vehicle for CVAR inspection.


No ERW tubing is allowed, exceptions may be granted on cars with logbooks prior to 1/1/13 or visiting cars with non-CVAR logbooks. Seamless or DOM mild steel tubing (SAE 1010, 1020, 1025) or equivalent or alloy steel tubing (SAE 4125, 4130)(T-45) is required. Alloy steels must be normalized to relieve stress after welding. ERW tubing must have the weld to the inside of all bends.


  1. One continuous length of tubing must be used for the main hoop member, with smooth, continuous bends and no evidence of crimping or wall failure. Whenever possible, the hoop should start from the floor of the car, and in the case of tube frame construction, be attached to the chassis tubes by means of gussets or sheet metal webs to distribute the loads. It is recommended that gussets be used at all joints.
  2. All welding must be of the highest possible quality, with full penetration and must be done according to ASTM specification for the material used.


Minimum tubing sizes for front and main hoops and all required bracing

Vehicle Race WeightMild SteelAlloy Steel
Under 1500 lbs.1.50″ x .095″1.375″ x .095″
1500 to 2500 lbs.1.50″ x .120″1.50″ x .095″
Over 2500 lbs.1.75″ x .120″1.625″ x .095″

Optional bars and braces may be of any suitable diameter and wall thickness.

Mounting Plates. Welding is the preferred method for securing the bar or cage within the car. Mounting plates bolted to the structure of the car shall not be less than 3/16” thick, with a back- up plate of equal thickness on the opposite side of the panel, with the plates bolted together. There must be a minimum of three bolts per plate. Whenever possible, the mounting plate shall extend to the vertical section of the structure, such as a door pillar. Recommended minimum floor plate surface area is 24 square inches.


  1. The main hoop may be either the full width of the cockpit, or a partial cockpit width (only behind the driver.)
  2. Height – The top of the main hoop must not be less than 2” minimum over the driver’s helmet as observed during racing conditions.


  1. A full width main hoop must incorporate a diagonal lateral brace.
  2. The main hoop must have two braces extending forward or to the rear, attaching to the frame or chassis.
  3. These braces must be attached as near as possible to the top of the main hoop (not more than 6” below the top and at an included angle of at least 30 degrees.)


  1. The main hoop must extend the full width of the driver/passenger compartment and must be as near the roof as possible.
  2. If a front hoop is installed, it should follow the line of the front pillars and be connected by horizontal bars to the main hoop on each side at the top. Alternatively, two side hoops following the lines of the front pillars to the top of the windshield (as close to the roof as possible), then horizontally to the rear, attaching to the main hoop. These two side hoops are to be connected together by a tube over the top of the windshield.


Removable rollover structures are permitted, but they must be very carefully designed, constructed and installed to be a least as strong as a permanent installation. If one tube fits inside another tube to facilitate removal, the removable portion must fit tightly, and must bottom by design, on the permanently mounted tube and at least two SAE 3/8” Grade 5 bolts must be used to secure each joint. The telescoping section must be at least eight inches in length.

Revised 9/15/2021 JKJ

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