Using GPS to Maintain Traction in a High-Horsepower Front Wheel Drive Car

When we first met Scott Kuhner from Insight Motorsports at 2014's World Time Attack Challenge in Sydney [see that video here], the NSW-based tuner hinted at big improvements to his already-insane Holden Astra (known as the Opel Astra in other markets) by the time the 2015 WTAC event kicked off late last year. In this video, we catch up with Scott and discover that he has well and truly come through on his promise. 

Powered by a 500hp+ Honda K Series engine, the Astra retains its original front-wheel-drive layout, which makes traction Scott's biggest enemy. The car runs an Emtron ECU, and the Insight Motorsports team has utilised some of its more advanced features to tackle the problem.

Essentially, what Scott has employed could be called preemptive GPS-based boost control. By analysing test session data and combining it with accurate GPS positioning via the Emtron ECU, Scott is able to work out exactly where on the circuit the fronts are lighting up and in turn where a reduced amount of power, controlled through boost pressure, is or isn't needed. Once the track is cut up into sections on the GPS map overlay, Scott then sets his boost pressures to suit, allowing him to essentially head off wheel spin before it occurs, as opposed to trying to correct it with more drastic and potentially time-robbing means - ignition retard or ignition/fuel cutting - once it has already happened. The end product is much more manageable and predictable power delivery and quicker lap times as a result.

Want to learn more about tuning? Register for this free 6 part engine tuning course: click here.


  • Capeta Hell's profile image
    Very nice build!
    Wish the article had more pictures of the car!
    - Capeta Brazil
    3 years ago