Kia Motors Returns to Daytona to Begin Sophomore Racing Season in The U.S.


Adam Burrows, Trevor Hopwood, Nic Jnsson and Andy Lally Return to Pilot Two Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koups in the GRAND-AM 200 on January 28

  • Kia Motors and Kinetic Motorsports look for big gains in second year of racing in GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series’ Street Tuner (ST) class
  • No. 10 and No. 12 Forte Koups rebuilt for 2011 season using knowledge gained from program’s “development year” in 2010

IRVINE, Calif., January 24, 2011 – Kia Motors arrived at Daytona International Speedway last year with no previous racing experience in America, but the company’s first-ever U.S. motorsports program quickly caught the attention of GRAND-AM competitors and fans as the No. 10 and No. 12 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koups racked up an impressive list of accomplishments in its “development year” in the 2010 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series’ Street Tuner (ST) class, including two top five and six top ten finishes, leading two races, and ranking fifth in the engine manufacturer standings. One year later, Kia and racing partner Kinetic Motorsports will return to Daytona for the GRAND-AM 200 on January 28 with increased expectations after an off-season spent refining the Forte Koups based on the lessons learned in 2010.

After finishing 19th (No. 12) and 31st (No. 10) in Kia’s Daytona debut, Kinetic Motorsports quickly embarked on a header development program for the Forte Koups with several additional changes implemented as the season progressed, including a new final drive gear, a lighter weight flywheel and clutch assembly and new exhaust system.

Kia Motors returns to Daytona to begin sophomore racing season in the U.S.

“Right from the start it was easy to see the tremendous potential of the Kia Forte Koups last year as both cars proved to be reliable and remarkably responsive to driver input,” said Andy Lally, driver of the No. 10 Forte Koup. “With the performance improvements the team at Kinetic Motorsports was able to make throughout the season, and after a few months of testing and adjusting since the last race, the entire team is excited and optimistic about the potential for the Kia racing program in 2011 and beyond.”

After the season-ending event at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, the Forte Koups underwent a complete disassembly and comprehensive rebuild designed to reduce the overall weight of the cars per GRAND-AM rules. The Forte Koups are returning to Daytona approximately 100 pounds lighter than last year.

“Our primary objectives in 2010 were to get the Kia Forte Koups on the track and learn as much as we possibly could at every opportunity while also making improvements as the season progressed to be consistent and competitive for a first-year program,” said Christian Rushforth, Kinetic Motorsports’ Kia project engineer. “While we certainly did learn a lot, and in some cases may have exceeded our own goals, including leading a few races, our entire off-season program was based on the goal of getting the Kia Forte Koups on the podium in 2011.”

In addition to off-season vehicle development, Kia’s racing program and the Kinetic Motorsports team also served as high-profile brand ambassadors for Kia Motors by strapping dealers and team members into the Forte Koups for hot laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of the company’s national dealer meeting in October. Kia also called upon team drivers Burrows and Jnsson to help introduce consumers to the brand’s first-ever turbocharged vehicle in the U.S., the all-new 2011 Optima SX1, with custom video segments filmed at Willow Springs Raceway and Palm Beach International Raceway that can be viewed at Kia’s auto show displays across the country. Capping off a busy off-season, the No. 12 Kia Forte Koup also was recently featured in the February issue of Road Track magazine.

“We are proud of the great strides and accomplishments the Kia racing team made in its first year, and as we look forward to a fantastic season of racing in 2011 we are also finding new and innovative ways to showcase our racing efforts to enthusiasts and proud Kia owners across the country,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing communications, Kia Motors America.

In addition to retaining its complete driver roster, Infinity Audio whose high-end audio systems are offered in several Kia vehicles returns for its second year as the title sponsor of the Kia motorsports program in 2011.

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 For media information, including photography, visit

1 SX model will be available later this year.

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