HPDE Info & How To Prepare – Next Steps

Autocross is fun & inexpensive.  It’s a great way to begin to learn the limits of your car.  But there’s more – a LOT more!  To truly learn what your car is fully capable of, and to help you see where you can improve your preconceived driving limits, you will need to decide to make the commitment of doing a HPDE (high performance driver education) event.

Your car...Our track!

Autocross is the racing equivalent of dipping your toe into the waters of real track racing.  You CAN get really serious about it, but, you’ll really need to move beyond to learn the next step about car control.  You see, it’s difficult to learn (& harder to remember) what you & your car are experiencing in only 5 to 8 autocross runs that are less than 1 minute in duration.  You do have the opportunity to walk the course a few times, but the course looks SO much different at speed.  Even pre-running the course at 85% during course setup as an Eventmaster doesn’t really help much.  I know, I’ve been there – I surely plan to do it again!

With all this said, autocross is a great venue for starting out, if your true goal is actual racing.  It gets you teased into the racing groove; also it’s a small financial & time investment.  But it only seems to whet the appetite (at least for me).  I’ve seen so much more on television & in person at the track of Harris Hill Road (H2R).

To truly learn more about racing lines (e.g., to learn how to utilize the concept of the corner apex to your advantage), car control, & handling at speed, HPDE’s are the way to go.

The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) sthis story:

My First Day at the Track

After much prodding from my friends I finally committed to going to my first HPDE at Thunderhill. Not only was this my first HPDE, it was my first time ever on a road course. I’ve been to a couple autocrosses but that’s it. Other than that, I’ve had no real racing experience. So, this being my first time, I was really nervous…click here to continue

I have found some good DE (Diver Education) documentation at regional Porsche Club of America (PCA) organizations.  I am not an owner, nor a proponent of the Porsche marque.  But you can say that I do lust from afar.  To make this point more valid, this past week, Porsche sent me a very nicely packaged Porsche 911 GT3 informative booklet (to call it a brochure does not suffice).  It’s a striking mini-volume about a dead serious true race-based 911 that is still streetable – sigh!  And just the other day I received a mini hard bound book showing luscious images of the new Porsche Panamera (plus a Porsche keyfob-like USB drive – interesting)!

The PCA seems to be one of the most serious racing enthusiasts organizations.  They want their marque’s owners to truly learn to appreciate the use & full capabilities of their Porsche vehicle.  This is accomplished through regional DE’s

Porsche Driver Education - TrackEvent

The information I provide here is mostly on the behalf of the Hill Country Region Porsche Club of America (HCRPCA) & the Lone Star Region Porsche Club of America (LSRPCA).
[These articles are copyrighted by these regions of the Porsche Club of America.]

This information features these 2 tracks in South/Central Texas:

I have started to autocross, but I know I’m not yet ready (both my car, Karlino, & my personal self including budget) to do the HPDE thing.  But I know that eventually this is where I’m aiming for.  To help you, dear reader, on this racing path of discovery, I’ll share with you what I’ve been researching:

These are a series of website links & documentation, served up in bite sized pieces.  You can bookmark & save as favorites for your future reference.  BTW, you don’t need a Porsche to participate, but that would surely be nice (especially a 911 GT3)!

Racing Ready knows that the HPDE commitment is a necessary next step to:
“Go from wannabe racer to successful racing competitor!”

It’s all part of working on improving the nut behind the wheel.  🙂

Dan

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3 thoughts on “HPDE Info & How To Prepare – Next Steps”

  1. There are plenty of options out there…Drivers Edge is good (if you use a little self control and don’t wad up your car). They have lots of groups to progress through (a good thing) and some pretty good instructors.

    NASA has a program but honestly it’s aimed at people with at least a little track experience. With most of these it’s a matter of finding a good instructor and sticking with them. It’s really more of a venue for track time and time trials is a very good route to proceed with.

    TWS has events and the instructors are top notch! Many are racers that are there for more track time. Misty runs a great program and it’s very efficient.

  2. One more note…it doesn’t matter what car you have. Make sure it’s a safe car, but it doesn’t have to be a sports car. You will learn far more driving a street car to the limits on street tires than you will in a sports car on race rubber(early on). There is nothing like a set of howling all season tires…and track time is track time. After all, this is about your skills, not the cars. Car upgrades are quick and easy(just pull out the pocketbook); skill takes time and lots of it.

  3. Drivers Edge are good, but some folks’ budgets don’t stretch to a two-day event. An alternative is Apex Driving Academy, which runs one-day DE events at MSR Cresson. apexdrivingacademy.com

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