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Home Garage Recaro unveils FIA-approval for off-road racing seat

Recaro unveils FIA-approval for off-road racing seat

King of the Hammers marks official launch of new safety shell

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As competition gets underway at the King of the Hammers off-road races in the California desert, Ford has unveiled its Bronco 4400 race trucks that, among other things, feature new seats. Those seats are from Recaro, and Ford and Recaro both note that the Pro Pacer XL ORV race seat shells are the first to be certified for off-road racing by the FIA.

“Creating safety for drivers in all conditions is at the core of racing shell development at Recaro Automotive,” the seat manufacturer said in its announcement. “With this long-standing commitment to safety, it was imperative to design and engineer an off-road racing shell that withstands the extreme conditions endured by the sports participants, including the ambitious and challenging off-road and vertical impact standards regulated by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). 

“The Recaro Pro Racer XL-ORV seat successfully passed the test, gaining certification to FIA standard 8855-1999 on January 20th, 2021. (CS.468.21)”

Recaro’s new off-road racing seat (left) and seat for street-legal vehicles (right)

”Off-road racing is a growing market,” noted Recaro Automotive president Emil Kreycik. “Recaro Automotive made the natural decision to assume a leadership role through the FIA certification of our newest shell. Doing so demonstrates our unending commitment to driver safety in our race products.”

Recaro Automotive unveiled two new products for the off-road vehicle segment at the 2019 SEMA Show: one for street-legal off-road cars, and the other for off-road race cars. Ford off-road racers Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Loren Healy were part of the Recaro development team for the XL-ORV seat. 

”Recaro’s constant innovation is something I am grateful for,” Gittin Jr. said. “That commitment to keep racers and enthusiasts safe and comfortable — no matter our choice of fun from behind the wheel — is why I’m proud to work with them.

Racer Loren Healy was part of the team developing the new Recaro seat

”There is no question that Recaro’s effort and passion has saved me from serious injury on more than one occasion, both on and off-road.’’

”Being part of the development team for the Recaro off-road vehicle seats has been an incredible journey,” Healy added. ”After the more than two years of development and testing that went into the Cross Sportster ORV and the Pro Racer ORV, my mind is blown at how much safer and more comfortable these seats are for the demanding nature of off-road driving.’’

Recaro says its Pro Racer-XL ORV “is ergonomically designed to provide outstanding support, while offering protection for the back and neck against all the forces of a dirt track. The specially designed head surround for better visibility, the friction grip surface around the shoulders, and the highly-effective energy-absorbing ENRg+ Performance cushion foam are all essential when pushing off-road race vehicles to the limit. 

“The seat is suitable for 4-, 5- or 6-point belts as well as HANS/FHR systems. Its particularly robust cover materials are both weather and abrasion resistant.”

The seat is priced at $1,945. For more information, visit the Recaro website.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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