KIA FORTE KOUPS HEAD TO VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY FOR NEXT ROUND OF THE GRAND-AM CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE
Kia’s Second-Year Racing Program Returns to Action after Capturing First Victory in April
IRVINE, Calif., May 12, 2011 – Kia Motors’ U.S. racing program has started the 2011 season with a bang, making two podium appearances in the first three events of the year, including the company’s first-ever GRAND-AM victory last month at Barber Motorsports Park. The Infinity Audio Forte Koups return to the track this weekend for the Bosch Engineering 200 at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) where Kia notched the first of two top five finishes in 2010 with Kia currently ranked second overall in the Street Tuner (ST) class engine manufacturer standings.
The strong early-season performance has proven that the Kia Racing team, in partnership with Kinetic Motorsports, will be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) schedule. The No. 10 Forte Koup enters the Bosch Engineering 200 ranked second in the ST team standings, and co-driver Nic Jnsson is just four points behind in the ST driver standings.
“We felt like we had a great chance to secure our first GRAND-AM win at Barber, and the entire Kia Motors organization, both here in the U.S. and abroad, has been celebrating the historic result throughout the last month,” said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing and communications, Kia Motors America. “Last year, the No. 12 and No. 10 Forte Koups finished fifth and seventh at VIR, and with the tremendous gains the Kinetic crew has made so far this year we are looking to repeat that double top ten performance and score as many points as possible. VIR is a very technical track, and although we know we will be a little short on top-end speed on the long straight-aways, the Forte Koup’s outstanding handling and braking characteristics should negate some of that disadvantage and allow our drivers to work their way up the grid.”
The Bosch Engineering 200 will be broadcast on Sunday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET on the SPEED Channel. Race fans can follow Kia’s motorsports program and receive live updates at www.facebook.com/kiaracing.
Barber 200 Race Recap
After winning the Street Tuner class in last month’s Barber 200, Michael Galati and Nic Jnsson will pilot the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup in the Bosch Engineering 200 on Saturday at Virginia International Raceway.
When the 2011 CTSCC schedule was released, Kia and Kinetic Motorsports circled the April race at Barber Motorsports Park on the calendar for a variety of reasons for Kia, the track is less than 100 miles from the company’s first U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia and a large group of team members were expected to attend the race. Kinetic Motorsports also considers Barber its “home” track given the close proximity to the team’s operations in Buford, Georgia, and the entire Kia Racing team knew the Infinity Audio Forte Koups’ handling and braking strengths would give Kia a chance to take its first-ever checkered flag after strong performances in the season’s first two events.
The Kia team’s lofty expectations would prove to be well-founded as Michael Galati and Nic Jnsson co-drove the No. 10 car to Kia’s first-ever checkered flag in the CTSCC. Galati opened the 2.5-hour race for the Kia team, maneuvering his Forte Koup through the field and into the top ten early in the race before handing the car off to Jnsson during a flawless pit stop with 90 minutes remaining. Jnsson quickly moved up the grid and into the top five before overtaking the leader with just over 45 minutes remaining in the race.
Meanwhile, after experiencing several bouts of bad luck in their first two races, Trevor Hopwood and Adam Burrows piloted the No. 12 Forte Koup to its first top ten finish of the year, after moving up as high as fourth in the running order at the midway point of the race.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 730 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.” In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.
Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its Web site www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.