Jennifer Faye is currently Program Manager at the SFI Foundation, Inc. in Po-way, California. The SFI Foundation is a non-profit organization established to issue and administer quality assurance standards for performance automotive and motorsports safety equipment. As Program Manager, she supervises approximately 100 product specification programs and maintains test records for over 325participating manufacturers. Jennifer is also an active member of the NFPA 610 committee for Safety at Motorsports Venues.
If you've been around drag racing long enough, you're familiar with the three letters, "SFI." If you're a racer, you frequently see those three letters on tags or stickers on the safety equipment you use for yourself or on your car. But have you ever thought about what really goes into those three letters? What do they really mean? How and why did the SFI Foundation begin decades ago, and why do we still need SFI in today's racing world?
In racing's early years, motorsports equipment was often pushed to its performance limits. Catastrophic parts failures would cause damage and sometimes injury to all participants involved. In response, a group of racing product manufacturers in 1963 formed an association known as the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association, or SEMA. Original organizers deemed the central purpose of the association to be the development of product specifications for use by the suppliers of equipment used in racing. The product performance specs would be among the chief functions of SEMA, with the intent to raise the bar for performance quality and reliability of the racing products, which would translate to safety on the track.
In those early days, SEMA's pioneers struggled with the development and implementation of various product specifications. Many "unknowns" faced the innovative entrepreneurs in areas of design criteria, testing and promulgation of specifications. But their dedication to the industry and passion for racing won out. It wasn't long before the specifications were accepted and formed a part of sanctioning body rulebooks.
Approximately a decade after its
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