Racing Chips

Piggyback Racing Chips Are Used To Optimally Tune Engines For Competitive Car Racing

Racing chips differ from normal car chips in their mappings and settings and whereas a piggyback chip for a road car would endeavour to modify engine management settings to achieve a sound balance between power and economy, a racing chip prioritises power above all else.  In fact, piggyback chips have become very useful and confer several advantages in all types of cars; here are just three of them:

  • It is not necessary to go to the prohibitive expense of a new engine management system; the existing factory system can be retained
  • A variety of mappings is possible, from lean-burn economy mappings to aggressive power mappings
  • Mappings can be changed and reprogrammed as required

Specialised Car Racing Chips

Car racing chips do not aim to achieve the type of running characteristics that road car chips do and because it is accepted that racing engines are relatively frequently rebuilt and are not expected to last hundreds of thousands of kilometres, these chips may be programmed very aggressively to achieve maximum power.  Nowadays, an electronic engine management system controls nearly all the components in a modern engine; of course, a piggyback chip intercepts the signals from the standard control unit and modifies them for extra performance.  To this end, the following are a few examples of the parameters on modern engines that can be modified with car racing chips:

  • Ignition timing
  • Cam timing
  • Fuelling and mixture strength
  • Turbo boost pressure (turbocharged cars)
  • Rev limit

Maximising Power Delivery

Racing chips prioritise performance and in motor racing, fuel economy is much less of a consideration, unless it is a very long endurance race where fuel tank size and fuel consumption may play a more important role.  Especially amateurs involved in motor racing are forever trying to find ways to stay competitive while saving money and for them it is a big boon that they do not have to replace their entire engine management system at great cost.  A piggyback chip has made it possible to achieve enough control over the existing engine management system, even for motor racing purposes.

Of course, in line with the electronic modifications effected by racing chips, some mechanical components may have to be replaced or modified to work in harmony with the electronic changes.  To this end, normal road-going engines' fuel injectors may simply not have a high enough flow rate to deliver the requisite amount of fuel for racing and almost without exception; cooling systems have to be upgraded as well to maintain stable thermal conditions under the bonnet under the duress of sustained racing conditions.  Lubrication becomes critical too, and many racers opt for dry sump lubrication to maintain adequate oil delivery under sustained G-forces.


Mappings may be added, altered and reprogrammed to suit certain tracks, climatic conditions, ambient temperatures and air pressure and different fuels used.  Several mapping can be pre-programmed and the driver can swop between them as required.  All of this and more are possible with the best racing chips.

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