Think Corvette or Miata. The SC300 certainly didn’t need something this small, but I’m not that big, and why not save a pound or two.
It has protrusions at the top of the seat that are designed to wrap around your helmet in a halo, and to contain your head in certain collisions, namely side impact. While a head and neck restraint device keeps your head from moving too far forward in a frontal crash, it does nothing for side impact, or during a rollover.
The halo seat, on the other hand, does an excellent job keeping your melon where it’s supposed to be. You can find lots of video examples of violent roll-overs or even tank-slappers where the driver’s noggin is flopping about, and you wonder how their head even stays attached. Don’t forget that a helmet is a device with a non-zero weight that makes your normally heavy head even heavier.
Many series and sanctioning bodies outright require a containment seat, but, even if you’re not required to run it, why not run it?
Two key points, though. Firstly, it’s much harder to get in and out of a containment seat, because you have to get your head and shoulders out and around the protrusion. Secondly, because it’s much harder, it almost guarantees that you will need a functional quick release for your steering wheel. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to contort yourself to get out quickly during an emergency with the steering wheel in place.
Some seats do offer removable halos, however you would not be able to remove them during an emergency because they have to bolt into the seat. The removable halos are designed for cars that might pull double-duty as street cars. Additionally, on the street, the halo would seriously impede your ability to look to the side to see. When belted into the race car and wearing a head and neck restraint, you can’t really turn your head enough for it to matter.
The factory seat brackets had been cut and channeled to accommodate flat bar which then had threaded holes installed onto which the seat mount was attached. I had been running a seat slider, but now that the car was really going full race car, it was time to go straight solid mounting.
This mounting as it sits is OK, but it’s not ideal for racing use. A new seat mounting assembly would be fabricated and installed.