With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, classrooms, as we know them, are not in session. You can’t physically distance in a small class in real life, but you can online. Virtual learning is now the new norm across the country. The racing industry is getting a leg up thanks to one school that is dedicated to online education.
The HP Academy was started to fulfill the need for some sort of formal training for EFI tuning. Two New Zealanders, Andre Simon and Ben Silcock, founded HPA in 2010 after they cut their teeth running a performance shop tuning thousands of high-performance cars. Their experience revealed that the current level of tuning knowledge in the industry was lacking. They decided to try to teach the fundamentals of EFI tuning in a traditional classroom. As demand grew, they decided to focus on providing quality EFI training solutions that were easily accessible to everyone online.
According to HPA, there is no formal qualification path to become a professional tuner. While there are some quality automotive trade school programs, most of them only touch on EFI tuning. The industry is filled with tuners who don’t even understand the fundamentals of EFI. The outcome is often poor results, damaged engines, frustrated customers, and a general lack of trust in the industry as a whole.
The other end of the spectrum is that the tuners who do know what they’re doing don’t want to share their secrets and potentially lose business to someone else. Traditionally, your only option was to attend an in-person course. This style of learning can be expensive to participate in (and in the time of Covid-19, not even possible).
The High Performance Academy was formed as a solution to this situation. Both Simon and Silcock had the skill and expertise to not only teach these courses, but bring the technology online for thousands of enthusiasts, racers and builders to have access from their computer.
HPA says on its website that EFI tuning is not a black art; it’s a science. HPA says it provides this information in concise, easy-to-digest courses delivered online in live and recorded sessions. This allows people to learn from anywhere in the world, whenever it suits them.
As we were researching topics for this month’s articles on Dyno Tuning and Wiring, our searches kept landing on videos from HPA. After watching a number of their free courses, we signed up for another live session on Wiring Fundamentals held at 4:30 am EST! While I am not an early morning person, and therefore missed the live Q&A session, it was quite nice to tune into the recorded session and see what I had missed. Simon was the instructor and called out several people who had logged in online. It should also be noted that this course was free. They charge a fee for many of the classes, but there is also a lot of free content that can help you figure out if you want to go on to the more advanced level courses.
While the concept of virtual training is not new, and during this time of the COVID pandemic, it is becoming more the norm to go online for meetings and training sessions. The fact that it’s not “hands-on” doesn’t seem to be a disadvantage because it is more convenient, and the course material is comprehensive.
During our interview with Jeremy Gibbons of Indy Wiring Services in Brownsburg, IN, he mentioned HPA and that it was a useful resource for wiring training. He also said that he planned to send some of his new employees there for training because it would be easier than teaching it himself. The courses range from diesel engine tuning to motorsports wiring and more. There are several courses dedicated to EFI tuning in particular that are very informative as Simon walks you through tuning a vehicle on the dyno.
HPA also offers a course on how to build engines geared toward engine assemblers rather than professional engine builders. Still, it is good basic knowledge that could be very useful to a new employee who may not know anything about the industry. While this may sound like a glowing review, it is not an endorsement of HPA. We have no affiliation with them whatsoever. That said, we think that it’s worth looking into whenever you have training needs. EB