HPDE: Your racing journey starts here

Love cars and driving? Eager to learn race craft and how to drive on the track? At NASA, a track day is called a High Performance Driving Event (HPDE).

HPDE is an instructional program for those who want to learn how to drive on a race track. HPDE has four levels, and includes instructor-led classroom and on-track training.

You don’t need a race car to participate; all you need is a street car that meets the basic, ASE safety requirements.


A valid drivers’ license;

18 years of age. 16 years of age with parent’s consent;

Any car in safe operating condition. If you are driving a convertible, it must have roll bars.

A helmet with a M2005 or SA2005 or better rating. Don’t have a helmet? Rent one at the track.

HPDE 1: It all starts here!

This is where all of the fun and excitement of NASA SoCal begins! This group is for first-time track day drivers, and includes in-car instruction to help you learn the basic principles of road course driving.

In HPDE 1, you learn the fundamentals of high performance driving in a controlled environment. You receive both classroom and on-track instruction, and you are assigned an instructor for all of your on-track sessions. Total combined classroom and track time is approximately 8 hours per weekend.

In order to advance to HPDE 2, you must demonstrate that you can consistently drive the school line; understand safety procedures; and perform smooth braking, turn-in and acceleration, as well as some passing. You will see all of these terms and concepts in the HPDE 1 section of your assigned HPDE Passport.


Patrick Orozco is the lead instructor for HPDE 1-2 and your main point of contact during the event. He runs the classroom sessions and provides post-track time feedback. Feel free to reach out to him anytime.