Open Road Race Timer

The Open Road Race Timer is designed for high speed automobile racing on closed highways. The race objective is to travel a course of known length at a set rate of speed. That combination of speed and distance translates into a target time to reach the finish line.

There are separate screens for the Navigator where conditions can be set and for the Driver where progress measured against the ideal time can be presented for a heads-up display.

Your starting time will also be assigned as some minute or half minute after the hour in which the race begins. Set the conditions of speed, distance and compute the time in the app Setup and let the app count down to the start of your race.

If the computed time is not identical to the official time down to the ten thousandths of a second, touch the "Distance" button to activate the plus and minus below the time to make fine adjustments. Time is the most critical variable for displays and computations.

The clock will countdown to an automatic start. You may wish to synchronize your app's clock to the offical race clock before you start.

Alternatively, you may show a Start Now button on the main screen by chosing the option on a switch in Settings and use this button to initiate the start. Caution, however, the automatic countdown timed start is much more precise and reliable than any human could possibly be.

Speeds can be set at 5 mph increments from 60 to 160 miles per hour. Typically, offroad races run one way over the closed course and then teams turn around and reverse the course for another run. In this app, you can set the distance between 5.0000 and 120.0000 miles for a single run. Shorter distances and slower speeds can be used for practice at paces less likely to produce speeding tickets.

Settings allow you to change the precison of various displays. Also, there is a setting that determines whether the app stops computing at the Finish Line based upon either the official time or the official distance. By default, the choice is to stop app computations when the distance to the official finish line reaches zero. Then, you will have an indication of how much time error you have incurred on the course.

For races with out and back stages where the total error is the average between two runs, you can use this time to judge the best time target +/– on the return stage

GPS inputs trace the path along the rally route. Measurements of actual versus ideal time and distance will be shown in seconds ahead or behind schedule. From time to time you may also record time and distance covered an the error against the ideal course time and distance by touching the Add Split button. Also, you may set automatic split computations at increments of 30 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes and 5 minutes.

An adjustment factor between 0.800 and 1.200 can be used to synchronize distance measured by GPS to race distance. This adjustment applies to all distance measurements shown after the adjustment has been selected so adjustments can be made while racing.

If the app's Time of Day (T.O.D.) clock shown at the bottom of the map view does not match the rally's official clock, you may synchronize the two clocks by making small adjustments as required.

For better GPS reception and improved accuracy while racing, third-party wireless GPS receivers are recommended. This app has been tested with Bluetooth connectivity to a Dual XGPS150A Universal GPS Receiver, which samples at least five times per second. The Dual XGPS160 model samples at least ten times per second for even greater precision.

Disclaimer: Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.



changes in version 6.4
  • A new Settings option has been added. This option gives you the choice of stopping the app computations when the distance between the car and the finish line reaches zero as determined by the GPS distance traveled over the course or when the time on the course counts down from the official time to zero
  • The default Setting is for the app to stop when the distance traveled counts down to zero, which should be when the car crosses the official finish line
  • This option is designed to help teams adjust time targets for the second leg of an out-and-back race like the Big Bend ORR. The total time error for this two-stage race is the average time of the out and back stages
  • There is now a display of the distance "to go" until the finish line shown above the map display
  • Improvements have been made to allow selected time, speed, and distances in the Setup screen to persist in the app Documents folder
  • Minor GUI enhancements and code improvements to improve performance
changes in version 6.1
  • It's back. By popular demand, we have returned the "Start Now!" button that allows manually overriding the automatic countdown start time. However, we caution that the app countdown is more precise and accurate than any human action could be, so be aware
  • Since we strongly recommend using the automatic countdown start time, the option of showing and using the "Start Now!" button is available in the Settings. The default is no "Start Now!" button
  • To further improve the precision and accuracy of the app, we have expanded the adjustable precision of both the Time and the Distance. New buttons allow for fine adjustment +/- and holding down a button will allow it to increment or decrement in a fast continuous pace, so you don't have to touch buttons multiple times to get the result you want
  • The lower end of the Speed range is now 60 miles per hour and the lower end of the Distance range is 5.0000 miles. These changes are designed to allow users to practice at lower speeds and shorter distances, if they wish.
changes in version 5.1
  • App is now Universal formatted for both the iPhone and iPad platforms
  • Numerous GUI and code changes
changes in version 5.0
  • Changed minimum required iOS version to 10.3 to resolve some issues and to accommodate new technology
  • Reduced from 10 meters to 1.5 meters (33 feet to 5 feet) the minimum distance computed from a pair of GPS coordinates suitable for incrementing distance. This improves displayed distance measurement to 0.001 mile accuracy, which is especially important at speeds less than 15 mph (not much of an issue at the speeds required of this app)
  • Various changes to accommodate iOS 11
changes in version 4.0
  • Added estimate of distance travelled between GPS distance signals. This improves the accuracy of the distance measurement and importantly reduces the rapid changes in time and distance error computations and displays to make it easier to maintain a desired pace
  • Added app Settings to change the display of time, speed, and distance

revised: May 14, 2019