Not all racecars are pure racecars. A lot of us enjoying hitting the track on Saturday and then on Monday taking that same car to Costco to pick up some diapers and a flat-screen TV. In the cases where our sports cars perform double duty, we generally don’t like to drill holes in the floorboard to mount stuff. If it is a dedicated track car without windows and a full roll cage, then drilling a hole in the floorboard isn’t that big a deal. However, if your car is a daily driver, you probably want to keep it somewhat streetable.
Recently we decided to enter our Ford Fiesta in the Tire Rack One Lap of America event, which is sanctioned by NASA. With a new adventure ahead of us, we pored through the One Lap rules and saw we were required to install a fire extinguisher. We had installed fire extinguishers in numerous racecars at Double Nickel Nine Motorsports, but we hadn’t done it for a daily driver. For One Lap, we didn’t really want to modify the Fiesta ST too much because it would remain a street car.
While trying to find a good spot to mount our fire extinguisher, we considered that NASA is the sanctioning body for One Lap of America, which means NASA Club Codes and Regulations apply. CCR section 15.1 “Fire Extinguisher” required “… a fire extinguisher securely mounted inside within driver’s reach while normally seated, belts fastened and steering wheel in place …” We decided the best place for the fire extinguisher would be the floorboard directly in front of the passenger seat. CCR 15.1 also says “… the bracket should be metal and of the quick-release type. The mounting hardware should be nuts and bolts and not just sheet metal screws. …” It looked like we would be drilling into floorboard after all.
Before I got the drill out and began making Swiss cheese out of the Fiesta floorboard, I searched the Interweb to see if somebody smarter than myself had already built something that would mount a fire extinguisher in a Fiesta. Fifteen seconds into my search, I found an Australian company called Kap Industries that made exactly what I needed. After using PayPal to convert U.S. dollars to the Australian dollar, I had a bracket coming to my front door from down under.
Once we had a bracket to hold a fire extinguisher, we needed a quick-release system to allow for rapid use of the extinguisher in case of a fire. We solved this problem with an Allstar Performance quick-release kit. Half of this part would bolt to the Kap Industries bracket. The other half would be mounted by clamps around a 2.5-pound fire extinguisher. They would be held together with a pull-pin. If the extinguisher was needed, pull the pin and point the bottle at the fire.
For a fire extinguisher we chose an Amerex 2.5 pound ABC unit from I/O Port Racing Supplies because it fulfilled the requirements of NASA CCR 15.1 and was the perfect size for the clamps that came with the Allstar Performance kit. The size of this unit also fit nicely on the Fiesta floorboard. All that was left to do was connect the mounting bracket, quick-release bracket and the fire bottle and install them in the Fiesta.
The nice part about this little project is that all of the pieces fit together so well. The holes on the Allstar Performance quick-release kit matched perfectly to the Kap Industries bracket, and the Amerex fire extinguisher was the exact diameter for the Allstar Performance clamps. There was no drilling, no fabrication and no hassle. We did nothing more than open the boxes that landed on our doorstep and bolt things together.
We had the ability to adjust the height of the male portion of the quick release kit on the fire extinguisher to make sure the extinguisher sat on the floorboard perfectly. We didn’t want a situation where vibration on the transmission tunnel or a passenger’s foot would accidently depress the extinguisher handle and fill the car with unwanted, untimely powder.
This short video shows how easily the Amerex 2.5 pound ABC fire extinguisher can be removed using the Allstar Performance quick release fire extinguisher bracket. Simple and fast.
The combination of the three different parts worked great together and we had the fire extinguisher installed in less than 30 minutes. The installation was NASA legal, One Lap of America legal and didn’t require any new holes to be drilled into our street car. The entire installation used existing OEM bolts, and the system worked great. The fire extinguisher can be removed in seconds.
We passed tech at One Lap, then completed more than 3,600 miles during the 2021 One Lap of America race and the extinguisher installation was solid the entire time. We knew we could use the easy-to-access, quick-to-release, extinguisher, which gave us peace of mind at 10 different racetracks during One Lap. Thankfully our week never required the need to put out a fire, but we were ready!