HPDE – What is HPDE? – Palmer Motorsports Park
Palmer Motorsports Park High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) uses the world class Palmer Motorsports Park closed road racetrack to teach drivers safe & fun high-speed driving techniques. These skills provide better understanding of vehicle handling and braking, resulting in improved driving skills on the street as well as the track.
Palmer Motorsports Park HPDE student drivers receive classroom instruction on subjects including track rules, use & location of track flags, track driving terms, hand signals to communicate with flaggers and drivers, as well on on track driving protocol. Videos are used to accelerate the driver’s on track learning.
Instructors ride along with students providing guidance on braking and turning while teaching the track driving “line” using helmet intercoms.
Additional classroom session are used to review past performance as well as specific techniques to drive the track line through corner combinations, etc. The overall learning experience is enchanced with question and answer sessions as well a review via video.
HPDE events are not racing. Cars on-track operate under strict “rules of engagement” which minimize the likelihood of dangerous encounters with other cars. Occasional off-track excursions into the grass are normally controlled stops, with track personnel and on-board instructors supervising a safe re-entry onto the track.
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 students to reduce traffic on track.
HPDEs encourage participants to drive within their ability and improve their car-control skills with each event. Instructors and staff evaluate each student’s progress throughout the weekend and make recommendations on the student’s advancement through successively higher skilled driver groups. It is extremely important for Novice drivers to learn the basic safety measures of the sport first such as entering the track, flags, corner worker functions and emergency procedures. It is also important to master basic car control skills and the racing line before worrying about how fast you are going.
Some basic things for all novice drivers to learn include:
- Track Safety
- HPDE terminology
- Proper seat and hand position
- Looking ahead
- Straight line braking
- End of Brake point
- Turn in point
- Track out point
- Both feet In (All In)