NASA Great Lakes Region HPDE 3
NASA Group 3 allows the experienced Driver to catapult their skills gained in NASA Groups 1 and 2. HPDE 3 is not a lapping group. Our far reaching program is heavily based on drills and close proximity driving. You will learn how to quickly and confidently navigate small and large groups of traffic in close proximity, off-line at speed all while being aware of flag stations and those around you. The goal of HPDE 3 is greatly increased situational awareness. Our other group objective is to work with drivers individually to help them learn how to drive more quickly. Group 3 is staffed by advanced instructors who have specialized skills in all types of cars and are experts in Time-Trails, Racing, helping drivers lower lap times and Instructor development. New to 3 drivers are required to have an instructor with them for one of the first two sessions on Saturday. This is to bring the driver quickly to speed and help identify areas that they can begin working on. We are a "group" and act as a group. We hold a mandatory attendance classroom environment covering advanced driving topics. Safety, suspension, the art and science of driving fast and an open forum to ask questions and share challenges. HPDE 3 drivers must spend a MINIMUM of 5 NASA Great Lakes events in group 3 in order to request a check out ride to group 4. Out of region or new to Great Lakes region group 3 drivers will be required to have an instructor ride with them on one of the first two sessions on Saturday. Group 3 is the perfect spot for those individuals seeking to become much better, much faster and much safer Drivers. A second seat is required in HPDE 3 if your goal is to advance to HPDE 4. NASA Great Lakes region HPDE is not a competitive, timed or racing event. HPDE is High Performance Driver Event Education
HPDE 3. Everything we do is our HPDE program culminates in creating drivers that are competant and can demonstrate proficiency in HPDE 3. NASA Great Lakes HPDE 3 involves a very high amount of spatial and situational awareness exercises along with passing and flag drills to test and elevate a driver's skills. Standard practice for these Group 3 drivers is 2 and 3 wide (and sometimes 4 wide) organized and structured drills run abeam. "Abeam" is exactly side by side with each car's front bumper being in-line w the car(s) next to them. If you are thinking US Navy Blue Angels or USAF Thunderbirds precision then you are envisioning what all drivers will demonstrate to advance. These 2 and 3 lap drills requires both individual and group awareness skills. These and other drills are at the heart of HPDE 3. HPDE 3 does several and various passing drills. These are alongside surprise flags, mock flying double wide starts and single-file restarts. You will also experience unscheduled emergency and tow vehicles on track to teach you safety principles that are common in very high levels of driving. We also do these in a safety engineered environment which gentley introduces you to these advanced driving skills.
The HPDE 3 run format is designed to help advanced drivers learn to play as both a group and as individuals. A very large part of the HPDE 3 program is exposure to future path options of Instructing, Time-Trails and W2W racing. This path to the advanced HPDE4+ offerings starts in HPDE 3. You are essentially put on a path of your choosing in HPDE 3 to support your driving in HPDE 4 or TT or becoming an Instructor or headed to Comp School. We call this "Declaring your Major" just like you would in school or University. Declaring your major is an option and not required. Declaring your major gives the driver an entire year of structured and specific practice to make them a better, faster and safter driver tailored to YOUR GOALS.
Additional drills you will see in HPDE 3 include: Up-the-middle drill, Monster passing (3 to 5 drivers), reverse gridding, time-trail/qualifying format and on occaisional reverse course track driving at Gingerman Raceway. From a driving perspective mastery of high corner entry speed is a must. Our HPDE 3 drivers are very fast and have the ability to pass anywhere on track including off-line and outside of corners and at close proximity and at speed. This is one of many criteria you must demonstrate to advance to group 4 and beyond. This is also one of the reason there is a 5 Great Lakes region event requirement before you can ask for a check out ride. Nothing is learned in an afternoon or even 1 or 2 events---espeically at your home track. A driver learns more and more quickly when they go to a new track and tax their mind and body to learn something new. As they say in the HPDE Instructor circles: "A driver with 20 events at 20 different tracks is much better than a driver with a 100 days at the same track".
All HPDE 3 drivers can expect to receive one random back flag per weekend and missing it will prohibit your advancment from HPDE 3 to 4. We have found this to be an easy self-regulating mechanism that has our driver's prioritzing flag-stations at all times. Failure to observe and recognize a simple black flag will extend your time in our HPDE 3 program. This means if you are ready to advance on a particluar weekend and you miss a random black flag that Control/Timing and Scoring through randomly over the weeknd, you'll loose your opporuntuity to advance for that weekend.
HPDE 3 to 4 Advancement Guidelines
- 5 NASA GL events in two or more different tracks until you can request a check out ride. Most drivers advance 6-7 X and a very high percentage of drivers advance.
- Successful demonstration drills participation. Sometime during your 3rd or 4th HPDE 3 event the drills and awareness start to click and become internalized. Advanced driving in close proximity and passing anywhere becomes easier, more natural and more fun. As a senior HPDE 3 driver you are expected to be a role model to the new 3 drivers on track. You may be asked to lead a sesson or drill or series of drills. Successful traffic and drill demonstation means close driving at speed and off-line. All of the drills support these skills needed to drive in HPDE 4.
- Tire Temps and Pressures in Pit lane. You will learn to take tire temps and pressures in pit lane for the HPDE 4 run group. HPDE 4 will take your tire temps and pressures too. This is a one session requirement that can be accomplished in 30-40 minutes. This can also be done with a few 3 buddies and can be crossed off your advancment list as early as your very first HPDE 3 event. Understanding tire contact patch is absolutely critical to allowing your car to maximize it's grip and have the ability to have more traction which makes it faster. Temps and Pressures Doc download
- NASA Timing and Scoring Race Control Audit. You will attend a NASA race and view and observe from the Timing and scoring tower. Here you will hear the control commands to drop flags, radio flag violations and handle emergencies. This is also a one time requirement and can be accomplished in about an hour. After this tower visit during a race, you will give a very brief report back to group 3 on what you observed. This is not a test but rather an experience which will make you a better driver as you now will now what happens behind the scenes during an action packed race event. Robin will guide you through this process. Please remember that this is done in silence as race duties are being executed. You can do this with any of your fellow 3 drivers at the same time. Again, this is a one time requirement and a required advancment step in order to advance to HPDE 4 and beyond.
- HPDE 3+ Facebook Group. If you do Facebook then you will want to join this group. Great team culture and fantastic go-faster resources and discussion. https://www.facebook.com/groups/645569922596643/ This is a closed group and the page is designed to lift and develop drivers and for senior drivers to give back via knowledge and experience.
- There are 3 exams required to take and pass to advance to HPDE 4 and beyond. All 3 of these exams are open book. All 3 of these are knowledge exams. All are free. All are building blocks for future exams in HPDE 4 and to get to TT, Racing or Instrutor certification. Please take these exams as early as possible in your HPDE 3 path as they will aid in in become a better driver sooner than if you wait until advancment. Also keep in mind that all 3 and the above requirements must be completed before you can request a check out/advancement ride.
The following HPDE Resources and tools can aid you in passing the advancment exams:
Contact your NASA Great Lakes HPDE 3 Group Leader:
THE INTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT IS TO CONVEY IMPORTANT INFORMATION SO THAT A PARTICIPANT CAN MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION ABOUT WHICH GROUP TO CHOOSE. IN THE INTERESTS OF SAFE, SERIOUS, FUN, DRIVERS SIGNING UP FOR A GROUP FOR WHICH THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED WILL BE SUBJECT TO PENALTIES, INCLUDING A 1 YEAR SUSPENSION OR FORFEITURE OF NASA MEMBERSHIP. WHEN IN DOUBT, PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE LOWER GROUP. DRIVERS CAUSING “TRAINS” WILL BE ASKED TO MOVE BACK TO A LOWER RUN GROUP.