HPDE: High Performance Driver Education

Drive Your Car on America's famous Road Courses


HPDE: High Performance Driver Education

You have always wanted to know what “she could do”, but you know the streets and highways are not the place. NASA gives you and your car an easy, safe, and affordable way to get on the track! No speed limits, no pedestrians, but best of all-no tickets. The NASA HPDE provide you with a certified instructor to help guide you through the event, one on one, as you learn how to handle your car at the limit. You set your own goals and go as fast as you feel comfortable going.


Basically, all you need is a safe car and a helmet.  The car does not have to be fancy or fast. Students bring everything from a Hyundai to a Ferrari. Read the requirements for the other miscellaneous items required. Get a head start and fill out the required HPDE Tech Inspection Form before your first event!


Anyone who is a member of NASA (or a NASA sanctioned car club, such as INEX) may participate. Minimum age is 18 (16 with parental consent). Many different types of people enter our events. The number of women who are taking our courses has steadily increased and most are very eager to enhance their driving skills. A lot of husbands and wives also team up and use only one car which makes it a little bit more convenient. There are many teenagers and young adults who receive a school entry compliments of their parents who want to teach their kids to be safer drivers.   Note– All passengers must be at least 18 years old.  Please see section 4.6 of the Club Codes and Regulations.


Body damage to cars very rarely occurs, however you are encouraged to check with your insurance company regarding coverage. Most insurance companies cover damages to your car during the HPDE. Be careful if they tell that it is not covered. Agents have been wrong before. Ask them for a list of “exclusions” in YOUR policy and consult an expert.

Full Course

The student participants are separated according to their experience level into four basic groups: One, Two, Three, and Four. There are no speed limits in any of the groups, and the novice drivers are assigned instructors for safety reasons.

Run Group Explanation

Group 1 (HPDE-1)

This is where you begin. This is one on one guidance from experienced instructors, as you learn to control your car and yourself. Your instructor will provide you with guidance as you learn to drive at the limit. You will address how to approach a turn, the fast way around it, what gear should you be in, how to brake, and how to exit. The session generally includes a lead-follow session. Passing is very limited in the Group 1 Sessions.

Group 2 (HPDE-2)

Your instructor has determined you can drive on your own and with less supervision. You apply what you learned in the Group 1 sessions to get more practice. Group 2 is often mixed with Group 1 and is for those drivers that want some more Group 1 seat-time, but do not need an instructor.

Group 3 (HPDE-3)

You have progressed to the world of high performance driving. The passing rules in group 3 are not as strict. You must learn to share the track at high speeds with others.

Group 4 (HPDE-4)

This is only for the more experienced drivers. No passing restrictions, except those of good judgment and rules of the road etiquette, apply. You and your peers are now experiencing the joys of doing it right in a relatively safe and controlled environment! You can now enjoy high performance driving at its finest.

Enter Into A World Of Fun

Learn more about the NASA Driving Experience.

Get started with NASA (Part 1) 2:58

This video shows you just how easy it is to get started with NASA. What is HPDE and how do you get involved?

Get started with NASA (Part 2) 2:49

This video shows you just how easy it is to get started with NASA. We explore what Time Trial is and how to get into it!

Get started with NASA (Part 3) 3:20

This video shows you just how easy it is to get started with NASA. You’ve moved up through the HPDE ranks and are ready to race, we show you how easy it is get into racing.

Additional Information

to get started with HPDE

We’re excited to have you aboard. Here are a few more resources to get you started.

  • Membership in NASA or a NASA sanctioned club
  • Fill out HPDE Tech Inspection Form
  • Any car in safe operating condition (from Ferrari to Hyundai)
  • Mufflers. Different tracks have different sound policies
  • Roll bars in convertible autos
  • Seat belts in good working order
  • State driver’s license
  • Long sleeve shirt and pants (cotton is great)
  • A helmet
  • Knowledge of the Club Codes and Regulations
  • At least 18 years of age (16 w/parental consent)
Time Trial

Time Trial Program- Compete for fastest time against other cars in your class. More information can be found at the NASA Time Trial Website


NASA supports the efforts of the leading safety testing and standards bodies in motorsports today and is a proud member of SFI.

Allowed Convertibles with Stated Factory Rollover Protection

HPDE and Time Trial Only. You can find more information on this Drive NASA forum.

Ready to Drive with Us?

Membership in the National Auto Sport Association will make you part of a large family of motorsports enthusiasts and will provide you many benefits such as being able to participate in NASA events across the county, free admission to most NASA events, and participation in other programs available to our members.