High Performance Driver Education (HPDE)
High Performance Driving Event, or High Performance Driving Education. HPDE refers to non-competitive events held on dedicated race tracks designed to teach drivers proper high speed driving techniques. HPDE events are held by several HPDE companies and various automobile enthusiasts' clubs at some of the most renowned road-course tracks around the world.
Participants include both students and instructors. Students are grouped according to their ability and experience, with "Novice Group" students being the least experienced, "Intermediate Group" being more experienced and "Advanced Group" drivers being the most experienced. Mandatory classroom instruction contributes to the safety and overall learning experience and allows peer-group discussions of event logistics, on-track performance and track characteristics.
High Performance Driving Events are set up to be very safe. The companies behind the events put safety at the top of their priority list. Cars on-track operate under strict rules which minimize the likelihood of dangerous encounters with other cars. Occasional off-track excursions into the grass happen. They are normally controlled stops with track personnel and on-board instructors supervising a safe re-entry onto the track. Off-track excursions usually result in an off-track talk about what happened. It's also important to note that as a Novice driver, you're not driving your car anywhere near its 'limit'.
Yes. Although the majority of participants utilize a performance vehicle, students are allowed to drive virtually any vehicle that has been deemed safe by a qualified mechanic (Pre-event Inspection) and is known to have adequate handling characteristics for track use. Whether brand new or a 20 year old beater car, the car can still do more than you can. Most tracks require convertibles to have an approved roll bar (some OEM bars are permitted).
Absolutely! All 'Novice' and 'Intermediate' drivers will be provided an instructor who will sit in your passenger seat and provide you detailed and dynamic instruction to help you learn how to drive your car on track while keeping you safe. Even experienced 'Advanced' drivers can request an instructor if you are unfamiliar with the track or just need a few extra pointers.
Yes! It is highly recommend that you have a track day inspection by a local performance shop to determine if your vehicle is a mechanically sound and safe car. Most companies require this type of inspection before coming to the event. This is to check the overall condition of the car and it's fluids, brakes and tires. Brakes, tires, and fluid condition are extremely important. Read the Track Day Preparation in the Blog section of this site.
You will need a full face helmet with a 2010 SA or newer rating. You will also need cotton long pants (jeans are perfect), a cotton shirt and closed toe shoes. Make sure to bring a Credit card for gas at the track, a chair, and some basic tools. Sunscreen, water, snacks and food are also highly recommended.
We run rain or shine. A little water never hurt anyone and it actually can make you a better driver. Driving on a track is mostly about car control and situational awareness. What test that more than a little inclement weather. So if it is forecast to rain, don't forget your umbrella.
Passing among participants is facilitated only within defined "passing zones", and then only with clear hand signals and instructor confirmation. Many organizations increase the number of passing zones or eliminate the requirement for signals in groups with more experienced drivers to reduce traffic on track.
Probably not. Basically, it's up to you as to how hard you want to drive your car, but you can expect some tire and brake pad wear. There is also the occasional track debris, but your more likely to get rock chips on public roads than on the track
HPDE is not racing. It is a non-competitive learning tool. There is no timing of laps allowed while the event is in progress. Some companies do offer a method for timing your laps, but it's for instructional purposes and the lap times can't be accessed until after the event ends. The cars on-track operate under strict rules which minimize the likelihood of dangerous encounters with other cars. Occasional off-track excursions into the grass happen. They are normally controlled stops with track personnel and on-board instructors supervising a safe re-entry onto the track. Off-track excursions usually result in an off-track talk about what happened.