Each year the National Corvette Museum stages a number of events designed to appeal to a wide variety of Corvette owners and enthusiasts. Among these are the museum's High Performance Driving Events, or HPDEs. Held at different racetracks in the eastern U.S., these two-day sessions provide an opportunity to exercise one's Vette in a safe environment. An added bonus is the chance to receive valuable on-track instruction from driving instructors like Andy Pilgrim, John Heinricy, and HPDE Events Manager Roc Linkov.
In 2013, the museum expanded its schedule to include the famous 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Other locations have traditionally included Mid-Ohio, Virginia International Raceway, and the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois.
Each HPDE costs $475 for NCM members and $515 for non-members. (A low-speed "touring lap" option is also available for $100). The driving groups are broken down into Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced, with a different curriculum for each group. Basic and Intermediate students receive classroom instruction and track laps with an in-car instructor. The Advanced category includes classroom "refresher" courses, but drivers are left on their own while on track unless they request otherwise. Each group is allotted around three hours of track time during the two-day session.
Besides Pilgrim and Heinricy, former C6.R driver Johnny O'Connell was on hand at the most recent Sebring HPDE, where he took students for rides in Pfadt Race Engineering's coilover-equipped Z06. The event also included a two-day autocross sponsored by National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC), for an additional $50. Heinricy is an autocross expert, and he spent a lot of his time guiding participants through the tricky pylon course.
With so much driving talent concentrated in one place, the NCM's HPDEs offer an unrivaled opportunity to experience your Corvette's true capabilities in a controlled setting. Visit www.corvettemuseum.org for more information and to view this year's event schedule.