High Performance Driving Event (HPDE)

NASA High Performance Driving Events (HPDEs) make up core of the NASA SoCal track experience. Our events bring together instructors and students at all levels in a friendly, casual environment.

If you have ever thought about getting on track, NASA HPDEs are a great place to start. Our HPDE program includes instructor-led classroom and track sessions and our pricing is some of the most competitive in the industry.

Run Groups for Every Level

We stress safety first and foremost at all of our track events. Whether it’s your first HPDE or your fifteenth, we want to make sure every driver feels 100% safe and comfortable. We run a four-group system that places together drivers of similar skill sets. A strict point-by system and passing zones for each group make sure you never have to worry about faster cars or drivers pushing you beyond your comfort zone while on track.

Group 1 [HPDE 1]

“Beginner” drivers are those who have driven at zero or very few track days and have never been “signed off” by an instructor for solo track driving. We automatically provide a certified in-car instructor as well as informative classroom discussions for each HPDE1 driver at no extra cost. Passing other cars in Group 1 is only allowed on straights and only after the driver of the lead car signals that it’s safe to pass.

 

Group 3 [HPDE 3]

“Intermediate” drivers are those who have participated in a variety of HPDEs on more than one track and have been “signed off” by an instructor for each track driven. Passing other cars in Group 3 is only allowed after the driver of the lead car signals but may be done anywhere on the track.

Group 2 [HPDE 2]

“Novice Solo” drivers are those who have driven at some track days on at least one track and have been “signed off” to drive solo by an instructor on at least one track. Signing up for Group 2 may require a check ride. Passing other cars in Group 2 is only allowed on straights after the driver of the lead car signals.

Group 4 [HPDE 4]

“Advanced” are those who have significant experience. Passing other cars in Group 4 is allowed without a point-by signal but may be done anywhere on the track.

HPDE Participation Requirements

  • Membership in NASA or a NASA sanctioned club.
  • Any car in safe operating condition.
  • Different tracks have different sound policies.
  • Roll bars in convertible autos.
  • Seat belts in good working order.
  • Valid State driver’s license.
  • Long sleeve shirt and pants (cotton is great).
  • An approved helmet (rentals may be available).
  • Knowledge of the Club Codes and Regulations.
  • At least 18 years of age (16 w/parental consent).

HPDE FAQs

WHAT IS HPDE?

HPDE stands for High Performance Driving Event. It is a chance to drive your car on a racetrack in a safe and controlled environment away from the risks present on the street. NASA HPDEs are beginner-oriented, and we have some of the best instructors, on-track, and classroom sessions to help make anyone feel at home on the track.

WHAT HPDE GROUP DO I BELONG IN?

If you have never been on a road course before, even if you have drag raced, auto crossed or are “fast on the backroads”, you belong in Group 1. Drivers that have participated in 5+ HPDE or similar events at road courses should choose Intermediate. Drivers comfortable with open passing or have comp licenses or advanced driver trained should choose advanced. Send any questions about the best group for you to [email protected].

WHAT KIND OF CAR DO I NEED TO DRIVE?

Any safe and well-maintained vehicle is all you need to have a HPDE track experience. The car can be bone stock and does not have to be fancy or fast. Students bring everything from Hyundai to Ferrari. As a general rule, most late model, closed top vehicles in good condition will pass technical inspection. Some convertibles with factory installed rollover protection devices or aftermarket roll bars are also allowed. An “unmodified” factory vehicle will usually pass technical inspection without any problems; but, cars that have been modified (seats, roll bars, belts, etc.) must conform to the preparation rules.

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

We run events rain or shine. No refunds are given due to weather.

ARE OTHER CARS ON THE TRACK WITH ME?

Yes, but HPDE is not racing. Passing is only allowed in passing zones (straights) and passing is only allowed by point-by; this means that no car will ever pass you without your knowledge and approval.

HOW MANY TIMES TO I GET TO GO ON TRACK?

Typically, all HPDE drivers will get eight classroom and eight on-track sessions throughout the weekend. Sessions are typically 20-30 minutes long and include a warm up and cool down lap.

DO I NEED A HELMET?

Yes, you will need a SNELL SA2010 or newer helmet to participate in any on-track activities. SNELL SA2015 is strongly recommended. There will be a limited number of helmets available for rent at the event.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Long pants & closed toed shoes are required for all on-track participants. No jellies, birks, crocs etc. Short sleeve shirts are allowed. Eye protection is recommended.

HOW SHOULD I PREP MY CAR?

Click here to download and view the HPDE Pre-Tech form. Please arrive at the track with this form filled out and signed by a qualified inspector.

Testimonials

Read what NASA members have said about the HPDE experience:

“My First Day at the Track”

Preparing for HPDE

Rollover Protection (convertibles)

Passing in HPDE

Learning the Line

Shifting, Up, Down and Heel Toe

In Slow, Out Fast

Approaching the Limit Safely

Weight Transfer