KIA MOTORS’ U.S. MOTORSPORTS PROGRAM SCORES FIRST-EVER PODIUM FINISH AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Andy Lally and Nic Jnsson Drive the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup to Second Place Finish in Season Opener
- Kia Motors reaches victory lane for the first time in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
- Kinetic Motorsports’ off-season engine and vehicle development program delivers dramatically improved lap times in Kia’s return to Daytona
IRVINE, Calif., January 31, 2011 – Kia Motors’ two Infinity Audio Forte Koups proved they will be a force to be reckoned with in their second year on the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge circuit as the driving team of Andy Lally and Nic Jnsson piloted the No. 10 car to a second place finish in last week’s GRAND-AM 200 at the legendary Daytona International Speedway. The podium finish is a first for Kia Motors and racing partner Kinetic Motorsports, and was accomplished in the first race following the completion of the program’s “development year” in 2010.
“For Kia’s second-year motorsports program to reach the podium for the first time at the world famous Daytona International Speedway is an amazing accomplishment, and a tribute to the hard work Kinetic Motorsports put into the Forte Koups during the off-season and the outstanding effort of every crew member at the race track,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing and communications, Kia Motors America. “The camaraderie and persistence of Nic and Andy and the critical drafting help from teammates Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood made the race and the result even more memorable.”
Following a 2nd Place Finish for the #10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup in the GRAND-AM 200 in Daytona, Drivers Nic Jnsson and Andy Lally Celebrate Kia Motors America’s First Podium Finish in Motorsports
The impact of Kinetic Motorsports’ off-season modifications were apparent in early practice and qualifying sessions as the Kia Forte Koups posted lap times nearly seven seconds faster than 2010. Andy Lally and the No. 10 car started in the 18th position and he quickly moved up the grid and into the top 10 within the first five laps of the two and a half hour race.
Nic Jnsson got behind the wheel of the No. 10 Forte Koup following a flawless pit stop just past the midway point of the race and with two laps remaining he had moved into the top three. Jnsson’s run to the front of the pack was aided by drafting help from Burrows and the No. 12 car which had climbed more than 25 spots in the early part of the race but fell behind by several laps after a broken seat caused by a practice session hit required extensive repairs.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the race and the No. 10 Forte Koup sitting in third place, racing resumed after a yellow flag and Jnsson surged to second place on the last lap after completing a difficult pass in turn one and finished less than one second behind the winner to capture Kia’s first-ever podium finish.
“Reaching the podium at Daytona is a fantastic milestone for both Kia Motors and Kinetic Motorsports,” said Jnsson. “It’s the second year of the Forte Koup program, and to achieve this result in the first race of the 2011 season is unbelievable and something that was only made possible by the hard work and dedication of every member of the team.”
Racing fans can watch Kia race to its first podium when SPEED broadcasts the GRAND-AM 200 on Saturday, February 5 at 3 p.m. ET. The Kia Forte Koups will return for round two of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on March 5 at Miami-Homestead Speedway.
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.
To follow Kia’s motorsports program visit www.facebook.com/kiaracing.