HANS receives award

DR. ROBERT HUBBARD and James Downing, inventors of the Head and Neck Support device (HANS), have been honored with the USA's Louis Schitzer Award for technical innovation and engineering excellence.

This award from the Society of Automotive Engineers recognizes the pair's achievement in producing the device suitable for running in this year's Indianapolis 500 event, and is named after trailblazing American auto man Louis Schwitzer. "The recognition of this award is very poignant and positive for Jim and me," Dr. Hubbard said. "It's hard for me to explain the joy I feel, because we know we're really helping drivers be safe."

Dr. Hubbard's belief is that all motor sport will soon benefit from the device on land and water, and preliminary trials have been carried out in Formula 1 by Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard. Barrichello is known to have found the unit to be too restrictive in a Formula 1 in its present form, and modifications are being made so that the device can be introduced as soon as possible - potentially as soon as 2002.

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