Friday , February , 21 2020
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NASA Great Lakes Region RED SHIRT  HPDE Instructor Development Program

Are you a current HPDE Instructor with another organization or a current NASA HPDE 3 or 4 driver interested in becoming a NASA Great Lakes Instructor?  This page is for you.

NASA is a National organization with 13 regions across the USA.  The business model includes HPDE, Time-Trails and Wheel to Wheel racing.  Contrary to popular belief, NASA GREAT LAKES region's goal is not to "create racers".  We are a learning organization and our goal is to support our customers to whatever level of driving skill they aspire to.  Each for-profit NASA region uses the same HPDE passport with specific driving concepts to support 4 run groups:  HPDE 1 (for never been on track ever before to little to some experience) to HPDE 4.  4 run groups with 4 different curriculums.  

Each NASA region runs their own HPDE program w some slight variation and with their own unique personalization.  All regions typically have an Instructor certification program and Instructor status in one region is typically recognized in all other regions.  Discounts vary from region to region.  Once Instructor status is earned in one region this license is entered into the NASA National database and other regions have visibility.  This allows an Instructor from Ohio or any other state to Instruct at a NASA event at Road Atlanta, VIR, Daytona and other tracks where NASA holds events with the permission and at the discretion of the local Chief Instructor or Registrar or Regional Director.  Usually you will be contacted by the Chief Instructor who may or may not brief you on thier region's unique curriculum and grant you permission to instruct in thier region.  NASA Great Lakes region has a specific set of support objectives a visting instructor must familiarize and demonstrate proficiency at before you can instruct.  Specificialy this is our unique HPDE 1 curriclum where the instructor is a direct extension of the classroo and supports his/her student with a specific on-track curriclulum that is "Aligned" to the classroom.  This is represented in on-track drills, student evaluation forms and student downloads.  This familiarity takes about 90 minutes of time prior to an event.  All our HPDE 1 Instructors are assigned 1 student for 8 sessions and the student's learning take priority over your driving.  All out of region NASA Instructors MUST have an Instructor License that is visible in their NASAPRORACING profile.  No exceptions.  Please contact your regional Chief Instructor if your profile does not contain this.  No exceptions.



Each region runs their Instructor certificaiton program differently.  Each year NASA Great Lakes holds a 3 day Instructor School at MId-Ohio in April.   We've been doing this since 2014 and it's always on a Friday.  Our next school with be in April, on a Friday at Mid-Ohio.  Date TBD.  The one time cost for this program is $349.  The 3 day program consists of various role playing scenarios both on and off track, an introdution to our HPDE 1 classroom curriculm, common, proven Instructor techniques and the actual use of customer review materials to document driver performance.  Our Instructor program is designed to support the HPDE 1 driver by connecting what happens in the classroom to what happens on track.  This is a direct relationship.  As part of the RED SHIRT Instructor development program you will learn both HOW to instruct and WHAT to instruct.  The what is our curriculum which includes all the foundational driving elements that make a successful DE driver.


We think we run one of the best HPDE programs in the nation.  Yes, I just said that.  Our staff of HPDE leaders and instructors have evolved into a highly collaborative, continously improving team.  Each year we raise our bar and strive for higher levels of customer satisfaction, education, entertainment and execution.  Our current program began in 2014 and has 10 experienced group leaders, two chief instructors and we've certified over 160 in and out of region instructors.  HPDE 1 group leader John Santiago says it best:  "we are a learning organization".   Drivers who frequent NASA Great Lakes region get the best HPDE education out there.  We are an educational business model and not a "just lapping" group.  Our drivers excel at the fundamentals and frequently advance up our HPDE program to become outstanding DE drivers, instructors and nationally ranked Time-Trail drivers and wickedly talented racers.



Every 3 years our Instructor program holds a Re-Calibration school.  This 1/2 day school (always held on a Friday) is required by all in-region instructors to maintain their instructor status.  The $50 fee includes free lunch and lasts the first half of the day.  The second 1/2 day of Friday gives you afternoon off and free track time/test adn tune laps.  $50 for the entire day.  The purpose of this re-calibration is to introduce and practice new changes to our program and to provide an opportunity for a focused refresher.



NASA Great Lakes Instructor school graduates driving in HPDE 4 pay $75 per weekend event.   Time-Trail drivers and Racers pay $100.  There is no cost for an instructor Not Driving.  Free lunch in included on event weekends.  There are requirements that must be met when instructing a weekend event and failure to attend/execute/show up may lead to permanent loss of your NASA Great Lakes Instructor status and privledges.  We take instruction seriously and put our customers and clients above our own personal track goals.  Instruction is not for everyone.  You must be dedicated to putting your student above your own driving weekend.  You can do both but it makes for a very, very busy weekend.  Each HPDE 1 Instructor is required to tech one or more car Saturday morning and ride right seat for 4 sessions on Saturday and 4 on Sunday.  NASA Great Lakes only assigns 1 student per each instructor in HPDE 1.



Current HPDE 3 and above drivers interested in Instructing enter our RED SHIRT INSTRUCTOR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.  All our NASA GL instructor graduates wear a red shirt to denote Instructor status.  The RED SHIRT program is the start of your learning and begins about a year before the April Instructor school.  This allows the new instructor a jump start and a solid foundation to achieve high levels of Instructing success.  You will understand the in's and out's of becoming a NASA GL Instructor months before your first assigned HPDE 1 student.  It is a backwards mapped program to prepare you for success at our annual Instructor School in April at Mid-Ohio.  The program checklist consists of:

___ VERBAL COMMITMENT TO THE REDSHIRT PROGRAM as an HPDE 3 or above NASA GL driver and after a successful evaluation ride with a Chief Instructors.  This ride includes both an assessment of your driving quality and pace but more importantly your ability to communicate and multi-task while driving.  A good instructor can multi-task and process vast amounts of information quickly while providing concise and relevant feedback.  This check out ride is for evaluate you for the Red Shirt program which is generally 1 year in length.

___ HPDE TECH.  Attendance and involvement with our NASA GL Saturday morning Tech Inspecton.  You will learn how to tech a car.

___ HPDE INSTRUCTOR MORNING MEETING ATTENDANCE.  Start your instructor knowledge with your fellow instrutors as soon as you commit to the Red Shirt Program while in HPDE 3 or 4.  Attendence in both Saturday and Sunday morning Instructor meetings (15 minutes) is your step to familiarity of our system and culture.

___ HPDE 1 CLASSROOM AUDIT.  A unique HPDE 1 classroom audit. where you partner with another Instructor candidate and act out the roles of both HPDE 1 customer and Instructor.  This includes attending class and then doing the same actual on-track drills our customers experience.  This familiarizes you with our HPDE 1 classroom curriculum and it's support documents and also gets your feet wet driving with your fellow future instructor.  The cost for this is $25 and it is a one time event.  This is an entire weekend program and any free time outside of your group 1 duties can be spent in HPDE 4 or TT or Race group.

___ 4 HPDE 4 EVENTS WITH ROLE PLAYING.   Role Playing events both on and off track with our senior instructor mentors allow you to practice and learn.  Let's practice during the season to get you some experience so the actual April Clinic can be of higher quality and a higher standard.

___ Ross Bentley's Instuctor Manifesto document and a 10 question open book quiz.  The Instructor Manifesto is the HPDE Instructor bible.

___ It is recommended that you instruct with other organizations and we can help you do this.  Go and get your feet wet at your local track.  Practice makes perfect.

___ It is recommended (but not required) that you achieve MSF Level 1 Instructor certification.  Most all our NASA GL instructors have earned this on-line status.

___ One time attendance at the annual 2 day Instructor Summit in Indianapolis featuring Ross Bentley.  Here you will learn and use benchmark HPDE instructing concepts in a workshop environment with peers and leaders in our industry.  This is an option and is not required but recommended.

___DATA ACQUISITION BEGINNER TEST.  This is new for FY 2020 and is part of the HPDE 4 program to advance to TT, Comp School or the Instructor Program.

___TRACK WALK DEMONSTRATION.  You must attend and pass a Track Walk with Chief Instructor Eric Meyer.  You'll be asked to present to a group and share your findings.


All of the above prepares you for success at our April Mid-Ohio 3 day instructor clinic where you will be assigned an HPDE 1 customer and help them learn the foundational concepts of open track driving.


Are you ready to get started?  Please send me an email at: and we can get your on your way.


NASA GL Instructor Resources:

NASA Great Lakes HPDE 1 classroom presentation (full)


1/3/5 Session Review Packet


Instructor Learning Resources:

Richmond Shreve Free Manual

Instructor Manifesto Free Download

Richmond Shreve Free Resources

MSF Certification (not required to Instruct)