Weight Transfer

What is weight transfer? A car, at rest, distributes its weight over the four tires. When you accelerate, the front gets lighter – an extreme example is a drag car doing a “wheelie”. The result is “weight transfer” off the front tires, and onto the back tires. When you step on the brakes, weight transfers […]

Approaching the Limit Safely

Some people believe that an occasional spin or crash is essential to learning to drive quickly. This is not true. A spin or crash is the result of an extreme case of exceeding the limits of the car and driver. Loosing control of the car is a hazard to the car involved as well as […]

In Slow, Out Fast

Many drivers believe that the key to driving quickly is to drive into the corner as deep as possible, slam on the brakes at the last possible instant, jerk the wheel into the turn, and then slam the throttle as hard as possible to the floor. Its really much simpler than that! The single most […]

Shifting, Up, Down and Heel Toe

UpshiftingUpshifting should be done smoothly. Speedshifting will shorten the gearbox life. The only time I force an upshift is in a side by side race to the next corner, for position. I will sometimes “bang a gear” in an effort to take or hold a position. Listen to the in-car shifts of professional racers on […]

Learning the Line

The line is the path around the track, that when driven at the limit, will yield the fastest lap time. The line through any particular corner is accomplished using a “connect the dots” approach. There is a specific “turn in”, or “corner entry” point, which is the point where you begin turning the wheel. At […]

Passing in HPDE

The first thing to remember, is that HPDE is not a race. The goal in HPDE is to improve and develop driving skills. Since passing is the most likely time to have contact, and since the consequences of having contact are severe, the first rule is, “If in doubt, back out!” It is your responsibility […]

Roll Bar or Roll Cage?

Whether your goal is to run HPDE or to be the next Mario Andretti, you need to think about your safety while on track. This article will explore the ins and outs of roll bars and roll cages. NASA’s High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) are a very safe way to learn how to handle your […]

Getting Your Car Ready for HPDE

Now that you have signed up for the HPDE, you need to get your car ready for a track day. To self-tech your car, download the HPDE Tech form, and check over all the systems highlighted on the form. You will sign this form to take full responsibility for the condition of your car while it’s […]

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 […]