KIA RACING IS BRICKYARD-BOUND IN BID TO REGAIN GRAND-AM CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE POINTS LEAD IN INDIANAPOLIS
Kia Racing Team’s Michael Galati to Co-drive No. 12 Infinity Audio Forte Koup With Mathew Pombo While Mark Pombo Continues His Recovery
IRVINE, Calif., July 26, 2012 – The birthplace of U.S. auto racing, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), is the site for Round Eight of the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC). Kia Racing’s Infinity Audio Forte Koups take to the Brickyard for the first time, and Kia Motors becomes the first Korean automaker to take the green flag at the legendary 103-year-old racetrack. Co-pilots of the No. 10 Infinity Audio Forte Koup, Nic Jönsson and Andy Lally, look to bounce back after a challenging race at Watkins Glen in Round Seven and regain the points lead in the Street Tuner (ST) class.
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Returning to the track after a single-race hiatus is the No. 12 Infinity Audio Forte Koup piloted by Mathew Pombo. Pombo’s co-driver will be none-other than Kia Racing team member Michael Galati, who helped clinch Kia Racing’s ST Driver and Team Championships last season in the No. 10 Koup, and who has spent the first half of the 2012 racing season behind the wheel of one of Kia’s new turbocharged Optima racecars in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) series. Galati, who has already posted a victory in his PWC Optima, will fill in for the rest of the 2012 CTSCC season while Mark Pombo continues his recovery at home following his incident at Road America in June.
“Michael was our first and only choice to keep the seat warm while Mark gets healthy and back up to speed,” said Russell Smith, co-owner of Kia’s racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports. “He’s already part of the Kia Racing family, he knows the Forte Koup very well, and he was instrumental in helping Kia win the championship in 2011. He and Mat will make an excellent driver pairing, and fortunately, there are no scheduling conflicts, so Michael will also be able to continue with his Optima driving duties for the remaining two World Challenge races.”
The last two outings for Kia Racing’s Forte Koups have been daunting, and the high-caliber CTSCC competitors aren’t expected to make it easy for the team when the series hits Indy’s famous yard of bricks. Indianapolis will be a new experience for the Kia Racing family, but hopes are running high that teammates Jönsson and Lally will once again take the points lead in the ST class following this weekend’s 2.5-hour race.
“Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the epicenter of auto racing in the U.S., and it’s a great honor for Kia to compete with two highly competitive Forte Koups at a track with this much motorsports heritage,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing communications, KMA. “Kia Racing continues to showcase the performance, quality, durability and safety of our cars, and our motorsports success is taking the Kia brand to new heights and helping us to reach a new enthusiast audience.”
The Brickyard Sports Car Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, July 27. The green flag drops at 1 p.m. ET. Check out live race status, photos and updates at www.facebook.com/kiaracing. Race fans can also tune in for television coverage on SPEED Sunday, August 5 at 12 p.m. ET. (Time and date subject to change. Check local listings).
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America 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 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies1 in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
1 Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending June 2007 and June 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.