Frequently Asked Questions

 + Who are we?  - Who are we?

Motor City Roundup is a group of people who are car enthusiasts! We like to take our cars to a road race track to run fast, improve our driving skills, and have fun! We believe that all drivers should be able to enjoy the exhilaration of driving their own car at speed, safely, without fear of getting a speeding ticket or thrown in jail. As organizers, we facilitate safety, acquisition of sponsors, track rental, event registration, getting instructors as well as operations on the day of the event.



 + What is a High Performance Driving Event (HPDE)?  - What is a High Performance Driving Event (HPDE)?

HPDE is an acronym for High Performance Driving Event (or Education). HPDE refers to non-competitive events held on road race tracks that teach drivers proper high-speed driving techniques. HPDE events are held by various HPDE companies, groups, and clubs at renowned road-course tracks around the world.



 + How does an HPDE work?  - How does an HPDE work?

HPDE participants include both students and instructors. Students are grouped according to their ability and experience, with "Novice Group" students being the least experienced, "Intermediate Group" being more experienced and "Advanced Group" drivers being the most experienced. We like using color designations for the different driving groups to recognize that we’re all drivers who want to improve their skills and to encourage camaraderie across all experience levels. Mandatory driver meetings and classroom instruction contributes to safety and the overall learning experience and allows peer-group discussions of event logistics, terminology, vehicle dynamics, track characteristics, and on-track performance.



 + What do I need to know before I participate in HPDE?  - What do I need to know before I participate in HPDE?

Motor City Roundup 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 to a higher skilled driver group. It is extremely important for Novice drivers to learn the safety measures of the sport first such as entering and exiting the track, flags, corner worker functions, and emergency procedures. It is also important to learn car control skills and the racing line before worrying about how fast you are going. High horsepower does NOT make you a fast driver. It only makes you a driver with a fast car.



 + Is HPDE safe?  - Is HPDE safe?

High Performance Driving Events are set up to be very safe. Motor City Roundup puts safety at the top of our priority list. Cars on-track operate under strict rules which minimize the likelihood of dangerous encounters with other cars. Occasional off-track excursions into the grass happen. They are normally controlled stops with track personnel and on-board instructors supervising a safe re-entry onto the track. Off-track excursions usually result in an off-track talk about what happened. It's also important to note that as a Novice driver, you're not driving your car anywhere near its 'limit'. In the unlikely event of personal injury, there is a ambulance with emergency workers standing by.



 + Can I use my own car for HPDE?  - Can I use my own car for HPDE?

Of course! All car makes and models are welcome. Although most drivers use a vehicle with performance modifications, students can drive virtually any vehicle that has been deemed safe by a qualified mechanic and has adequate handling characteristics for track use. Whether brand new or 20-year-old, the car can do more than you can. Convertibles must have an approved roll bar (some OEM bars are permitted).



 + What does my HPDE instructor do while I'm driving?  - What does my HPDE instructor do while I'm driving?

Instructors sit in the passenger seat communicating with you usually through a mic/headset and providing specific instructions on when to brake, turn-in, and get back on the throttle. They instruct you on finding the best line around the track. They are your eyes and ears so you can concentrate on following their instructions and driving the track.



 + Can I pass another car during HPDE?  - Can I pass another car during HPDE?

Passing among participants is facilitated only within defined "passing zones" and then only with clear hand signals and instructor confirmation. For Intermediate and Advanced groups, we may increase the number of passing zones or eliminate the requirement for signals.



 + What do I need to do to my car before an HPDE event?  - What do I need to do to my car before an HPDE event?

For a Novice driver who has never had their car on the track, a pre-event inspection by a local garage is needed to determine if your vehicle is a mechanically sound and safe car. This is to check the overall condition of the car and its fluids, brakes and tires. You are responsible for your own thorough tech inspection before the event, and you certify that you have done so as part of registering for the event.

The only other requirement is a helmet with a 2010 SA or newer rating (motorcycle helmets are not acceptable). Also, you must ensure all loose objects in your car, trunk (spare tire), and glove box have been removed so nothing can become a projectile when going around the track at high speed. It's also highly recommended to fully bleed the brake system with high temp brake fluid and torque lug nuts to specs. Also, check tire pressure and torque lug nuts in between each driving session. For Novice drivers, it's important to leave the street tires on your car as High Performance tires only hide your mistakes.



 + What do I need to bring to an HPDE event?  - What do I need to bring to an HPDE event?

You need a helmet with a 2010 SA or newer rating (preferably a full-face helmet). You also need cotton long pants (jeans are perfect) and a cotton long sleeve shirt. Racing gloves, and shoes are recommended, but not needed as a Novice. Make sure to bring a credit card for gas at the track, a chair, and some basic tools. Sunscreen, water, snacks and food are also highly recommended.



 + Will I hurt my car by doing HPDE?  - Will I hurt my car by doing HPDE?

Check the Motor City Roundup event details for the current cost. Our events are very affordable! Typically, you get about four 30-minute, or five 20-minute sessions (about 2 total hours of track time for a day). You may also need to arrange hotel accommodations. The event starts early with a mandatory drivers’ meeting first thing in the morning, so it's a good idea to get a room for the night before if you have a long trip to the track. Check the event details for links and recommendations of where to stay when you sign up.



 + How fast can I drive at an HPDE event?  - How fast can I drive at an HPDE event?

You can drive as fast as your ability and car allows. If you're following the instructor’s direction and driving the race line, you'll see higher speeds. It's not unusual to see more than 130 mph at your very first event.



 + Is HPDE racing?  - Is HPDE racing?

The Motor City Roundup is not racing. It is a non-competitive learning event. We do not time laps while the event is in progress. You may choose to time your own laps, but this for learning purposes and not for comparison with other drivers. The cars on-track operate under strict rules which minimize the likelihood of dangerous encounters with other cars. Occasional off-track excursions into the grass happen. They are normally controlled stops with track personnel and on-board instructors supervising a safe re-entry onto the track. Off-track excursions usually result in an off-track talk about what happened.



 + How much does it cost to get an HPDE inspection?  - How much does it cost to get an HPDE inspection?

This varies, but most shops will do an inspection for about $25. Of course, if you're having other work done, such as bleeding brake fluid, wheel alignment, or oil changed, there could be additional charges. Some people have reported that car dealerships and other service shops doing it for free.



 + Can I share a vehicle or a spot with another driver?  - Can I share a vehicle or a spot with another driver?

When you register, you are registering your vehicle for a spot in a run group.

Scenario One. If you would like to share a single vehicle spot between two drivers, you can do that if you register for the run group of the least experienced driver. When that run group is called, either driver can drive the vehicle in the group.

For example, Driver 1 is a novice and Driver 2 is an intermediate. Register Driver 1 in the novice group. When it is the novice group’s turn on the track, either driver may drive.

The driver with the least amount of experience registers and completes the tech form only once. Please register the second driver on motorsportsreg.com and send the organizer a message indicating which drivers are sharing a run group spot.

Scenario Two. If you want to share a vehicle between two drivers in two different run groups, then you need two spots, one in each run group. Each driver has their own spot in different run groups.

For example, Driver 1 is a novice and Driver 2 is an intermediate. Driver 1 desires to go out on the track with the novice group and Driver 2 desires to go out with the intermediate group. Each driver goes out when it’s their run group’s turn.

Each driver registers separately and fills out the tech form twice for the vehicle that is being shared.



Adapted from the FAQs at HPDE Junkie with permission and appreciation!    HPDE Junkie