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      10-05-2020, 01:09 PM   #3
ICTZHP's Avatar

Drives: E92 M3 and G06 X6
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wichita, KS

iTrader: (0)

Everyone's perspective, appetite, and budget are different. Personally, I do both every year.

HPDE's are a great setting to get immediate right seat feedback (well, it used to be before COVID. The availability for right seat instruction varies between organizations.). The apparent up front cost is significantly lower. And you get familiar with your car. Things to consider, you are putting wear on your car and there is risk of damage. So, you need to factor in the cost of inspection, brake pads, brake fluid, tires, gas, etc. On top of that is insurance. This is again a personal choice and your mileage may vary, but for $300 to $400 you can get track insurance that greatly reduces your cost if an accident should happen. Finally, your instructor will be a great guy/gal who is a skilled driver, but most often they will not be a professional.

If you go the route of Performance Center M School, much of that description flips. You do not get right seat instruction, aside from skid pad exercises. The up front costs are significant, but they cover all of your consumables - primarily gas brakes, and tires. If the car breaks, not your problem, they give you another. They have people checking the vehicles between each exercise. As long as you listen to the instructors, there is no need to worry about insurance/liability for damage. Finally, every one of the instructors at the PC is a paid professional driver. Not only do they instruct at the PC, but they are race drivers, stunt drivers, etc and can flat out drive the wheels off the car and are trained to impart that knowledge to you.

As noted, I do both and highly recommend the same to everyone that I talk to on the subject. At the end of the day, the important part is seat time. I find value in splitting my seat time between the two options you are considering. Good luck with your decision and have fun on the track!