The seat insert system used today was invented by Trevor Powell in 1990. The inspiration for the whole idea came from a hillclimb accident that left Trevor in hospital for days. In this time he wondered why he had suffered these injuries.
Like many other racers at the time he was competing with a rolled up towel and a cushion behind his back. These offered very little in form of protection in the accident. The injury occurred due to the pressure points the inadequate seat created.
The eureka moment occurred when his wife told him a story about how his two dogs, she had observed that when the one smaller dog woke up and left its bean bag bed, there remained its perfect shape, when the larger dog got into the bed it could not fit into the smaller shape and instead moved around to make its own perfect imprint.
At this point Trevor wondered that if his seat had fitted his shape perfectly then it would not have created pressure points and the impact would have been dissipated preventing his injuries. After being released from hospital, Trevor soon realised that there was nothing in the market that used microspheres in this way. Trevor decided to further explore his idea and left his job and for two years worked on the components and learned more about the technology until in late 1992 he created his first working prototype the forerunner of what you see today.
1990 – Development of prototype seat insert,
1992 – First workable seat materials produced by Pro-Seat
1993 – First commercial sale to Jordan Grand Prix for Rubens Barichello.
1993 – Benetton F1, Ferrar1, Williams Grand Prix, Ligier F1, Sauber F1 etc.
1994 – Gulf Kremer Porsche seats for legends Derek Bell, Robin Donovan and Juergen Loessig. This being Derek’s last ever Le Mans 24 hour race.
1996 – First seats made in Champcar USA for Newman-Haas driver Michael Andretti. Pac-West, Penske, Team Green Tasman, Della-Penna and many more soon followed.
1997 – Thrust SSC sets the World Land Speed Record, on 15 October 1997, when it achieved a speed of 1,228 km/h (763 mph) and became the first car to officially break the the sound barrier. The Pro-Seat that Wing Commander Andy Green used to set this remarkable record is also the fastest land based seat in history and the first to break the sound barrier!!
2013 – Trevor’s wife Melanie joins Pro-seat as Financial Director.
2014 –Trevor’s son Alex joins Pro-Seat as Technical Director.
The Pro-Seat system has also been used in the following applications:
Paralympic sailing, Paralympic tennis, Paralympic rowing, Karts, F1 Offshore powerboats, World Land Speed Record Cycling, World Land Speed Electric Car, Formula Student, British Touring Cars, Formula 3, World Series by Renault, Hillclimb and sprint cars, Historic racing cars of all types and ages, Indy Lights, ALMS, ELMS, GP2, FFord and many, many more