Signing up for your first track day can be daunting! Are questions like what is a High Performance Driving Event (HPDE), who can participate, what do you need to do to prepare, or what should you expect at your first event keeping you up at night? If so, you're in luck because Atlanta Driving Society is here to help take the stress out of your first HPDE.
High Performance Driving Events (HPDE) are events where drivers can explore the limits of their vehicle and driving prowess in a safe and controlled environment.
Atlanta Driving Society events are open to drivers of all skill levels, and most makes and models of vehicles. The only prerequisite is the desire to learn and have fun!
Preparing your vehicle for your first track day is simple. You don't need special tires, more horsepower, or a race car to have fun and learn; all you need is a safe and reliable vehicle.
- A qualified mechanic should inspect your vehicle to ensure its track ready and at a minimum meets the tech inspection list.
- Brake fluid should be flushed with a high-performance fluid.
- Check that your brake pads, rotors and tires have sufficient life in them to make it through the day.
Your safety is priority number one! The minimum requirement for anyone going on track is a SA rated helmet (currently SA2015 and SA2020 are allowed), long pants, closed shoes and no tank tops. Additional safety items such as a head and neck restraint, fire suit, gloves, etc. are not required but always recommended.
An often overlooked part of preparing for a track day is track research. Make some time before the event to review the motorsports flag meanings, take time to memorize the turn numbers and track layout, and watch videos on the driving line for the track you will be at. Doing research in advance goes a long way to prepare you for a fun and successful day at the track.
Be sure to bring what you need for personal care, such as snacks, water, sunscreen, canopy, chair, extra clothes, and clothes appropriate for the weather.
Bring items for basic vehicle maintenance, such as extra engine oil, tire pressure gauge, torque wrench and wheel socket, and basic hand tools.
What to Expect
Atlanta Driving Society events prioritize safety, fun, and learning.
You will notice that lap times and going fast are not on our list of goals, and that's for a reason. If your only goal for the day is to go faster you sacrifice safety, fun, and learning. Instead focus on learning, being safe, and having fun and the speed will happen naturally.
There is nothing worse than feeling rushed on the morning of the event. Arrive early, at least an hour before the scheduled drivers meeting, so that you have time to get prepared for the day.
Once check-in is open take your helmet, completed tech sheet, and completed convertible waiver to the check-in table so you can receive your driver packet.
Check the schedule so you know when the drivers meeting is, when your classroom sessions are, and what your on track times are.
Unload your vehicle of ALL loose objects. You don't want anything in the car that can slide around, fly up, get stuck under a brake pedal or otherwise distract or impede your driving.
Setup your paddock area with your chair, canopy, snacks, tools, etc.
Check your wheel lugs are torqued, tires are aired, and fluids are filled.
Locate your instructor and set a defined spot you will meet them prior to each of your on track sessions. This is also a great time to ask any questions you have, and set expectations and goals for the day.
At the drivers meeting we will review the general rules and provide any event specific instructions you will need for the day. Missing the drivers meeting is NOT an option.
Arrive a few moments early for each of your scheduled classroom sessions. In these sessions you will be learning how to be safe on track, the etiquette of track driving, and advanced car control skills.
This is when the fun begins! Give yourself some time before your scheduled time on track, be sure your helmet and seat belt are secured and that your instructor is in the passenger seat. Take a deep breath its time to drive.
Got More Questions?
For a more in depth look at what to expect at your first HPDE we recommend checking out The HPDE 1st Timer's Guide written by Ross Bentley and Ryan Staub. We have found this to be a great resource for drivers who are new to track days.
You can also get in touch with us via email or the below contact form with specific questions.