In the ever-evolving world of karting, safety is paramount. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has recently given the green light to a new set of regulations, specifically targeting karting apparel. The FIA Karting Homologation Standard 8877-2022 is set to reshape the landscape of safety gear, ensuring that kart racers are equipped with the latest advancements in protective technology.
In this guide, we dive into the key modifications, the implications for you, and a thorough exploration of the key dates you need to know for the phased implementation of the changes.
What’s New in FIA Standard 8877-2022?
The cornerstone of the changes lies in the karting suits. The FIA has shifted from the traditional LEVEL classification to the more nuanced GRADE system. This change is not merely cosmetic; it reflects a significant enhancement in safety standards.
Abrasion Test Upgrade
One notable modification is the adoption of a new abrasion test methodology, transitioning from Cambridge to Darmstad. This move aligns the karting standards with those used in motorcycle protective clothing. The incorporation of this rigorous testing ensures that karting suits meet higher durability thresholds, crucial for the unpredictable nature of kart racing.
Old LEVEL’s Phased Out and new GRADE’s introduced
In the restructuring, the FIA has eliminated the LEVEL 1 and LEVEL 2 designation for new kart suits, deeming them not suitable anymore to meet the level of safety required for karting.
To replace the old LEVEL’s the FIA have introduced the new GRADE 1 and 2 standards as an overall upgrade to the safety in which all new karting suits are measured.
The FIA have stated that no suit manufacturer can produce a CIK/FIA suit to the old LEVEL standard after December 2024.
This new standard differs from the old as they now have a 5 year lifespan. In particular for FIA sanctioned events, in order to try and keep safety standards higher than before. However it is important to double check with your event organiser when aiming to compete in case they permit longer use.
New GRADE 1
What is key to understand is where these GRADEs sit in relation to the old LEVELs. GRADE 1 replaces the previous LEVEL 2, and is now the baseline level of protection for kart suits. Such examples include the Alpinestars KMX-5 V3 kart suit. Other GRADE 1 listed suits are available on the Demon Tweeks website.
New GRADE 2
A ground breaking addition to the standard is the introduction of GRADE 2. This tier of protection closely mirrors that of motorcycle leather suits and other bits of clothing, making it suitable for long circuit use. GRADE 2 now offers the ultimate in safety, catering to the evolving needs of the karting community.
Gloves & Boots: Mandatory Homologation
The FIA has extended its regulatory reach to karting gloves and shoes. Both items are now subject to homologation, with a distinctive hologram serving as a mark of compliance with the 8877-2022 standard.
It is worth bearing in mind, gloves and shoes do not have grades or levels attached to them, like suits. There is just one homologation standard. There are plenty of glove and boot options available on the Demon Tweeks website.
The new 8877-2022 homologation will require a hologram on all karting suits. (Shown in the image below).
This has been done to try and eliminate all the counterfeit suits coming in from unofficial sources which don’t adhere to the safety standards necessary. These businesses openly copy and sell poor quality products in an attempt to pass for the real thing. These counterfeit products are as much use as a chocolate teapot!
It is important to buy your gear from a reputable source which only sells genuine products. You wouldn’t buy a helmet from Wish, so look out for your own safety with the proper gear.
Key dates you need to know
Understanding the timeline for these changes is crucial if you want to race karts:
June 29, 2022 – Homologation Starts
Homologation of Karting Overalls, Gloves, and Shoes according to FIA standard 8877-2022 begins. Manufacturers embark on a process of testing and validation to ensure that their products meet the elevated safety standards set by the FIA.
December 31, 2024 – Production halts
Karting gear made to CIK-FIA 2023-1 level 2 standard will no longer be produced, however can still be worn. Overalls manufactured before December 31 2024 will be accepted in accordance with the label on the overalls. This will not extend past 31 December 2029.
January 1, 2025 – Expanding the Mandate to gloves and boots
The mandate expands to include all Karting Competitions on the FIA International Sporting Calendar. This broadens the scope of the new standards, ensuring a uniform and elevated level of safety across a spectrum of karting events. Gloves and boots made to the 8877-2022 standard will become compulsory in all karting competitions within the FIA International Sporting Calendar. Provided there are at least two different manufacturers offering products at prices similar to current offerings by December 31, 2023.
Gloves must completely cover the hands and wrists or must comply with FIA Standard 8877-2022. Shoes must cover the feet and protect the ankles or must comply with FIA Standard 8877-2022.
December 31, 2029 – The Last Call
The last call for overalls according to CIK/FIA N2013-1 level 2. As the calendar turns to 2030, the FIA sets a definitive deadline for the acceptance of overalls according to CIK/FIA N2013-1 level 2. This signals the end of an era and underscores the FIA’s commitment to the full adoption of the 8877-2022 standard.
January 1, 2030 – Exclusive Acceptance
Karting Overalls according to FIA Standard 8877-2022 are the only type accepted in competitions which comply with FIA safety regulations. This marks the culmination of a carefully planned transition, ensuring that all karting events align with the heightened safety standards outlined by the FIA.
The new standard in the UK
It might seem you need to buy new gear straight away, but don’t worry as you might not need to.
This new regulation will only immediately affect International and European events at the highest level in karting from January 2024.
Motorsport UK (the governing body for motorsport in the UK) aims to keep motorsport at all levels as affordable as possible, because of this they are likely to accept and run both Grade 1 and Level 2 together for many years in order to allow drivers on a budget to continue to compete.
If in doubt on whether you will need new gear, check with your event organiser to find out what is permitted. You might be okay with what you have!
Navigating the Transition
As the deadline for the shift approaches, kart racers must be proactive in embracing the changes. It is advisable to keep an eye on the homologation status of gear, ensuring that all equipment complies with the latest FIA standards. Manufacturers are gearing up for the transition, so be on the lookout for approved products.
If you’re new to karting and not sure where to go or what to look for we can help.
In conclusion, the FIA Karting Homologation Standard 8877-2022 signifies a pivotal moment in karting safety. The phased implementation and planning by the FIA reflect a commitment to not only raising the safety bar, but also ensuring a smooth and inclusive transition for all participants. As the karting community gears up for a safer future, one thing is certain – the thrill of the track will now be complemented by cutting-edge protection.
Enjoyed this? Read more of our latest news:
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