KIA RACING READY FOR SEVENTH ROUND OF THE GRAND-AM CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE AT ROAD AMERICA
Kia Heads to Road America Ranked Second Overall in the Street Tuner Class Driver and Team Standings
IRVINE, Calif., June 23, 2011 – Following six races in the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) season, Kia Racing heads into the seventh race of the year at Road America with an eye on improving in all three CTSCC standings. The No. 10 and 12 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koups return to the track for a second-consecutive Friday evening race and will make their racing debut on the famed Wisconsin road course. The No. 10 car piloted by Michael Galati and Nic Jnsson arrives at Road America with hopes of inching closer to the top of the ST team standings while Jnsson sits in second place in the ST driver standings, just five points behind the leader.
Kia Racing enters the seventh round of the GRAND-AM CTSCC season at Road America ranked second overall in the Street Tuner Class driver and team standings
Kia Motors America’s (KMA) racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports, has been preparing for the rigorous four-mile road course after the team experienced several setbacks during the June 3 race at Watkins Glen International. Kia Racing hopes to leverage the outstanding braking and handling characteristics of the No. 10 and No. 12 Forte Koups to compensate for the power discrepancy on the long straights and elevation changes found along the course.
“With four races left in the 2011 season, Kia’s second-year racing program has established itself has a formidable competitor in the Street Tuner class, and we are looking to finish the year strong at Road America and the courses that will follow in July and September,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing communications, KMA. “Despite a few setbacks at Watkins Glen a few weeks ago, the No. 10 car is just five points off the ST team standings lead and Nic Jnsson will continue to be a factor in the ST driver standings.”
The Road America race will be broadcast on Sunday, July 3 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.
Continental Tire 150 Race Recap
After reaching the halfway point of the season at Lime Rock Park with Kia scoring its fifth consecutive top-10 finish, the Kia Racing team faced a quick turnaround for the sixth event with the Continental Tire 150 scheduled just six days later at Watkins Glen International. With no time to return to Kinetic Motorsports’ facilities in Georgia, the team set-up their home-away-from-home at a Kia dealership in central New York to make repairs and prepare for the race.
The weekend got off to an unfortunate start for the Kia Racing team on Thursday as the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup piloted by Jnsson hit an oil slick caused by a competitor and crashed hard into the wall and eliminated any chance for Jnsson and driving partner Galati to practice or qualify before Friday’s race. Jnsson was uninjured in the high-speed accident, and the Kinetic team was able to put the car back together in time for Friday evening’s race.
Meanwhile, the No. 12 car of Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood qualified 22nd overall after not being able to finish at Lime Rock where a broken axle and recurring brake problems forced the car out of the race. After qualifying was completed, four of the top qualifying vehicles failed their technical inspections, moving the No. 12 Kia Forte Koup up to the 18th position on the starting grid.
The No. 10 Forte Koup returned to racing on Friday for a mid-afternoon practice session and early evening race. The early portions of the 2.5-hour race saw a good deal of contact between cars in both the Grand Sport (GS) and ST classes, and with the noticeable horsepower disparity between the Forte Koups and the turbocharged vehicles in the field, both Burrows (No. 12) and Galati (No. 10) focused their efforts on staying out of trouble and saving their vehicles for the later stages of the race. Burrows successfully moved up as high as first place in the ST class before a pit stop sent the No. 12 car back to mid-pack. Hopwood piloted No. 12 for the last 1.5 hours successfully working his way up to 14th place before the race concluded.
Meanwhile, the No. 10 car spent much of the race’s final hour in ninth and 10th positions, but eventually the competition’s higher horsepower and fresher tires got the better of Jnsson as he crossed the finish line in 12th.
Even though the Forte Koups failed to register a top-10 finish for the first time this season, Kia Racing remains second overall in the ST driver (Jnsson) and team (No. 10) standings, however, the Watkins Glen results dropped Kia from third to fifth overall in the engine manufacturer standings.
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 website www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.