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RC Car Lap Timing System: Choosing The Best One For You




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RC car racing is a popular hobby that has been enjoyed by enthusiasts for many years. One of the most important aspects of the sport is keeping track of lap times. 

This is where RC car lap timing systems come into play. These systems are designed to accurately time each lap of a race, allowing racers to track their progress and improve their performance.

With the right lap timing system in place, racers can take their skills to the next level and enjoy even more exciting and competitive races. So let’s rev up and take a look at these systems and how to narrow down the one that will work best for you!

What is an RC Car Lap Timing System?

An RC car lap timing system is a device that measures the time taken by an RC car to complete a lap around a race track. It is an essential tool for RC racers who want to track their lap times, count the number of laps driven, and determine the winner of a race, even in the closest of finishes.

The lap timing system consists of a transponder, which is attached to the RC car, and a receiver, which is placed at the start/finish line of the track. As the RC car passes over the receiver, the transponder sends a signal to the receiver, which records the lap time and the number of laps driven. The lap timing system can also display the connected voltage and ambient car temperature.

Accuracy is a critical factor in lap timing systems. To ensure that the lap times are accurate, the system must be calibrated correctly, and the transponders must be installed correctly on the RC cars. Most lap timing systems have a margin of error of less than one-tenth of a second, making them highly reliable.

RC car lap timing systems vary in complexity and cost that range from less than $80 all the way into the thousands of dollars. The choice of a lap timing system depends on the needs and budget of the racer.

Components of an RC Car Lap Timing System

An RC car lap timing system is a crucial tool for any serious RC racer. It provides accurate timing data, lap counts, and performance metrics that help racers improve their skills and compete at a higher level. A typical RC car lap timing system consists of several hardware and software components, including transponders, decoders, and software.

Hardware Components

The hardware components of an RC car lap timing system include a decoder, infrared sensors, USB decoder, and power supply.

  • Decoder: The decoder is the heart of the system, and it receives data from the transponders and translates it into meaningful information.
  • Infrared Censor: The infrared sensors are used to detect the passing of the RC car over the start/finish line, while
  • USB Decoder: The USB decoder is used to connect the system to a computer.
  • Power Supply: The power supply provides the necessary power to the system to function.

Software Components

The software components of an RC car lap timing system include the software that runs on the decoder and the software that runs on the computer.

The software on the decoder is responsible for translating the data from the transponders into meaningful information, while the software on the computer is used to manage the data, generate reports, and analyze the performance metrics.


Transponders are small electronic devices that are attached to the RC car and transmit a unique identification code to the decoder as the car passes over the start/finish line.

The decoder then uses this information to calculate lap times, lap counts, and performance metrics. There are several types of transponders available on the market, including AMB, MYLAPS, and I-Lap transponders.

Setting Up an RC Car Lap Timing System

When it comes to setting up an RC car lap timing system, there are a few key steps that need to be taken. In this section, we’ll cover the basics of track setup, transponder setup, and software setup.

Track Setup

The first step in setting up an RC car lap timing system is to prepare your track. This involves creating a course that is suitable for racing, with clear boundaries and obstacles. Once you have your track set up, you’ll need to install timing loops at strategic points around the course.

Timing loops are used to detect when a car passes over them, allowing the lap timing system to accurately measure lap times. It’s important to position these loops carefully, as they need to be placed in such a way that they won’t be triggered accidentally by other cars on the track.

Transponder Setup

The next step is to set up transponders for each of the cars that will be racing on your track. Transponders are small devices that are attached to each car, and they communicate with the lap timing system to provide accurate lap time data.

To set up your transponders, you’ll need to assign a unique ID to each one. This ID is used to identify each car and ensure that its lap times are recorded correctly. Once you’ve assigned IDs to all of your transponders, you can attach them to your cars and test the system to make sure everything is working properly.

Software Setup

The final step in setting up an RC car lap timing system is to configure the software that will be used to record and display lap times. There are a variety of different software packages available, each with its own set of features and capabilities.

When choosing software for your lap timing system, it’s important to consider factors like ease of use, compatibility with your hardware, and the ability to generate reports and analyze data.

Some popular options include:

Once you’ve selected your software, you’ll need to configure it to work with your timing loops and transponders. This typically involves setting up a connection between the software and your hardware, and configuring various settings like lap count, lap time thresholds, and more.

Using an RC Car Lap Timing System

If you are an RC racer, you know how important it is to measure lap times and determine the winner in even the closest of finishes. An RC car lap timing system can help you do just that, and more. In this section, we will discuss how to use an RC car lap timing system for racing, practice, multi-user mode, and offline mode.


During a race, an RC car lap timing system can help you keep track of lap times, count the number of laps driven, and determine the winner. The system will show connected voltage and ambient car temperature, and create and publish race results.

You can use the data to manage championship standings. The MYLAPS RC4 timing system is automated and optimized for radio-controlled vehicle racing. It is easy to set up and manage, and can be used indoors and outdoors with a variety of model cars and model boats.


An RC car lap timing system can also help you during practice. You can use it to measure lap times and improve your performance. The system will show you your lap times, and you can use the data to analyze your performance and make improvements.

The LapMonitor lap timing system is a multiplayer, affordable timing system for RC cars that can be used for training and racing.

Multi-User Mode

If you want to use an RC car lap timing system with multiple users, you can use a multi-user mode. The LapMonitor lap timing system offers a multi-user mode that can be used for RC cars and motorbikes.

It has spoken lap times and live race commentary, and is accurate and easy to use. You can start a race or training in less than 2 minutes. The LapMonitor lap timing system also has a free Android and iOS application, and is available in multiple languages.

Offline Mode

If you want to use an RC car lap timing system without an internet connection, you can use an offline mode.

The I-Lap Timing system offers an offline mode that can be used for RC cars, trucks, boats, FPV drone racing, karts, PPPPRS, and numerous university and STEM competitions worldwide.

The I-Lap Timing system is accurate and reliable, and has been used at almost a thousand tracks worldwide since 2007.

Popular RC Car Lap Timing Systems

When it comes to RC car racing, lap timing systems are essential for keeping track of lap times and determining the winner of a race. There are several popular lap timing systems available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits.


One of the most popular lap timing systems is Trackmate. This system is affordable and versatile, making it a popular choice for both hobbyists and professionals alike. Trackmate is compatible with a wide range of RC vehicles, from mini-z cars to boats, and can handle up to 10 cars at a time.

One of the standout features of Trackmate is its use of infrared signals to detect when a car crosses the finish line. This ensures accurate lap times and eliminates the need for expensive transponders. Trackmate also offers Bluetooth connectivity, allowing racers to view lap times and other data on their smartphones or tablets.


Another popular lap timing system is LapR. This system is designed for use with 1/10th scale RC cars and is known for its accuracy and reliability. LapR uses transponders to track lap times, ensuring precise measurements every time.

One of the benefits of LapR is its ability to handle multiple signals at once. This makes it ideal for larger races with multiple cars on the track. LapR also offers a range of customization options, allowing racers to fine-tune the system to their specific needs.

Both Trackmate and LapR are excellent choices for RC car enthusiasts looking for an accurate and reliable lap timing system. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional racer, these systems are sure to enhance your racing experience.

Final Thoughts

A reliable and accurate lap timing system is essential for any RC car racing event. The MYLAPS RC4 timing system, RC Lap Counter by Trackmate Racing, and DirtChamp Design Portable Lap Timing System are some of the popular options available in the market.

When choosing a lap timing system, it is crucial to consider factors such as accuracy, ease of use, compatibility with different types of RC cars, and affordability. It is also important to ensure that the system is compatible with the race timing software used by the event organizers.

In addition to lap timing, some systems also offer performance data such as connected voltage and ambient car temperature, which can be useful for racers to analyze and improve their performance. The I-LapRC Race Timing System, for example, works with any scale car from X-Mod and Mini-Z up to 1/4 scale and has a unique 7 Digit ID number for each transponder.

Investing in a reliable lap timing system can enhance the racing experience for both participants and spectators. With the right system in place, racers can focus on their performance, while event organizers can efficiently manage the race and publish accurate results.

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