Kia Racing Scores Back-to-Back Top Fives During Pirelli World Challenge Doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course


No. 36 Infinity Audio Optima pilot Michael Galati slogs through Sunday’s rain-soaked contest to secure second fifth-place finish of the weekend for Kia

  • Mark Wilkins takes seventh place in the No. 38 Infinity Audio Optima giving Kia Racing back-to-back top ten finishes at Mid-Ohio
  • 56-car grid was the largest field for a Pirelli World-Challenge race in 2012
  • LEXINGTON, Ohio, August 5, 2012 – Kia Racing’s Infinity Audio Optima program made its first visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course a memorable one as Michael Galati scored back-to-back top-five finishes in his No. 36 Infinity Audio Optima in round 10 and 11 of the Pirelli World Challenge. The rain-soaked Mid-Ohio track was arguably the toughest competitor today for all drivers, but Galati and teammate Mark Wilkins in the No. 38 Infinity Audio Optima kept their noses clean and put on a good show for the race fans who braved the weather.

    Michael Galati secures back-to-back top-five finishes in the No. 36 Infinity Audio Optima in round ten and eleven of the Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

    “The No. 36 Infinity Audio Optima performed very well today,” said Galati, whose turbocharged Optima carried an additional 22 pounds of rewards weight thanks to recent success. “The track was a big challenge at the start with how wet it was, and we struggled a little bit putting the power down, then it started to dry out towards the end. We got some valuable points today and look forward to wrapping up Kia Racing’s first season in the Pirelli World Challenge championship on a positive note at Sonoma in a few weeks.”

    Mark Wilkins, driver of the No. 38 Infinity Audio Optima, carrying an extra 44 pounds of ballast per World Challenge competition regulations, ran close behind teammate Galati for much of the 50-minute race and secured his second seventh-place finish of the weekend. The performance marked the sixth time in eleven races that both Optimas finished in the top ten, an impressive record for the manufacturer’s rookie season in the series.

    “What a wet and wild race it was for us at Mid-Ohio today,” said Wilkins, who has stood on the Mid-Ohio podium as a Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype driver in the past. “This was really our first time trying out these Pirelli rain tires, so we were a little cautious at the start of the race. It was great to see Michael lock up two more top-five finishes, and I’m proud to add to the string of top tens that Kia Racing is accumulating. The guys did great work all weekend to prepare these awesome Optima racecars, and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel for the season finale at Sonoma at the end of the month.”

    The final round of the Pirelli World Challenge takes place at The Raceway at Sonoma on Saturday, August 25 at 12:00 p.m. PT. Check out live race status, photos and updates at, and watch live streaming race coverage at Race fans can also tune in for television coverage of rounds ten and eleven on the NBC Sports Network Saturday, August 25 at 1:30 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 companies 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.

    Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website For media information, including photography, visit



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