KIA RACING’S DONORSCHOOSE.ORG/INFINITY AUDIO FORTE KOUPS TAKE ON LIME ROCK PARK TO DEFEND GRAND-AM CLASS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2012 SEASON FINALE
Kia Racing Vies For Back-To-Back Street Tuner Class Driver and Team Titles as the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Season Comes to a Close
IRVINE, Calif., September 27, 2012 – With the deep green of the Housatonic State Forest just beginning its transition to the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of autumn in New England, a showdown is in the offing at Lakeville, Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park, host to the 10th and final round of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC). Kia Racing enters the season finale as the defending Driver and Team champions for the Street Tuner (ST) class, and Andy Lally, pilot of the No. 10 DonorsChoose.org/Infinity Audio Forte Koup, sits a mere 12 points out of first place, well within striking distance but in need of a race win and some good fortune to best his closest rivals.
Kia Racing closes in on Grand Am championship title with top-five finish for Forte Koup at Laguna Seca–>
“The No. 10 DonorsChoose.org/Infinity Audio Forte Koup has been strong all year, and the Kinetic crew has done a fantastic job to put us in the position we are in,” said Lally. “We are definitely still in the chase to give Kia back-to-back championships, and it would mean so much for this race team and Kia Motors America to repeat as champs. But with the points battle as tight as it is, we’re going to need a bit of racing luck to bring home the hardware in 2012.”
With four teams and seven drivers still mathematically in the hunt for the CTSCC ST-class Team and Driver championships, Kia Racing is tapping into its talent pool for this final, winner-take-all event. Mathew Pombo, usually the lead driver of the No. 12 Koup, will qualify and start the No. 10 machine before handing off to Lally for the run to the checkered flag. Meanwhile, fresh from a highly successful rookie season in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), Kia Racing drivers Michael Galati and Mark Wilkins will trade in their turbocharged PWC Optimas to join forces in the No. 12 DonorsChoose.org/Infinity Audio Forte Koup for the Grand-Am finale.
“We are focused on winning this championship for Kia and for our hard-working race team. We have the best crew in the paddock and the best drivers behind the wheel,” said Russell Smith, co-owner, Kinetic Motorsports. “Andy Lally and Mathew Pombo have been teammates all year in the Koups. They have similar vehicle set-up preferences and know and trust each other very well. And in the No. 12 machine, Michael Galati and Mark Wilkins have just finished a great rookie season in the Pirelli World Challenge Infinity Audio Optimas, during which time they developed the type of close and collaborative relationship that is critical to a successful driver pairing in endurance competition. Together, quite frankly, I like our chances to repeat as class champions at Lime Rock.”
In addition to the human factor, the machinery should be up to the task as well. The Kia Forte Koups are well-suited to Lime Rock’s 1.5-mile, seven-turn circuit, which places a premium on handling and momentum. Last year, the No. 10 entry finished in fifth place on its way to a historic season, winning the 2011 Team and Driver title.
The Championship Weekend at Lime Rock Park is scheduled for Friday, September 28. The green flag drops at 3:20p.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 Saturday, October 13 at 2:00 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 August 2007 and August 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.