KIA RACING LOOKS TO REPEAT PODIUM PERFORMANCE IN MOTOR CITY FOR ROUNDS FIVE AND SIX OF PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE ON BELLE ISLE
Kia Currently First in the Grand Touring Sport (GTS) class Manufacturer Championship after Four Rounds; Leads Porsche, Ford, Chevrolet and Aston Martin
- Mark Wilkins in the No. 38 B.R.A.K.E.S. Optima turbo leads the Driver Championship points with teammate Nic Jönsson in the No. 36 DonorsChoose.org Optima turbo second
- Kia simultaneously leads two Manufacturer Championships as upstart privateer Forte Koup program earns top spot for Touring Car A (TC-A) class ranking
Irvine, Calif., May 29, 2014 – Following a hard-fought victory and podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park in rounds three and four, Kia Racing brings more than momentum to the Motor City this weekend. For rounds five and six of the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) on the Streets of Belle Isle, it brings the GTS-class Manufacturer and Driver Championship point leads. The team has earned four podium finishes – including two wins – in the first four rounds of the 2014 season, and as the PWC series turns to Detroit, Kia Racing looks to repeat its performance from last year when it became the first Korean manufacturer to win on the 13-turn, 2.3-mile temporary street circuit in the backyard of the domestic automakers.
“The Kia Racing team has done a tremendous job with four podiums and two victories this season in a highly competitive class and series, which is a testament to the dedication and commitment of each person involved,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Kia Motors America. “We’re looking forward to returning to Detroit as defending race winners and have our eyes set on making history again by becoming the first Korean car company to score back-to-back victories in the Motor City.”
While the factory-backed GTS Optima program pursues a repeat in Motown, simultaneously, the Touring Car A (TC-A) class Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koups will do battle at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in Millville, N.J., as they race rounds five and six of that class’ championship. The privateer Forte Koup program is off to a blistering start with rookie Jason Wolfe scoring his first two TC-A victories just two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) in the No. 36 Richard Wolfe Trucking Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup. In all, Wolfe appeared on the podium three times during the weekend north of the border, earning himself the top spot in the TC-A Driver Championship and putting Kia in the lead for the TC-A Manufacturer Championship. Kia now leads title standings in both PWC series in which the brand competes.
Prior to arriving on Belle Isle for this weekend’s GT/GTS event, the Kia Racing team made a stop at the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center (HATCI) R&D facility in nearby Ann Arbor, Mich., allowing the production-vehicle engineers and technical staff to engage with their counterparts from the racing team, offering opportunities to share best practices and compare notes that may influence the development of future road-going Kia models.
Rounds five and six of the PWC from Detroit Belle Isle will take place on Saturday, May 31 at 10:05 a.m., and Sunday, June 1 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Televised coverage will be on the NBC Sports Network on Sunday, June 15 at 2:30 p.m. ET. Rounds five and six of the PWC Touring Car class series from NJMP will take place on Saturday, May 31 at 6:10 p.m. and Sunday, June 1 at 10:20 a.m. ET. Race fans can watch live coverage of all four races online at www.world-challengetv.com and catch the latest news and updates from the Kia Racing Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kiaracing and follow the team on Twitter: @KiaRacing.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA proudly serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA and surpassed the 500,000 annual sales mark for the second consecutive year in 2013 following the launch of seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the rear-drive K900** flagship sedan, Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona midsize multi-purpose vehicle, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States. Kia’s U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, builds the Optima* and Sorento* and is responsible for the creation of more than 14,000 plant and supplier jobs.
Information about KMA and its full vehicle line-up is available at www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
*The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
** 2015 K900 V8 available in select trims and in select markets with limited availability.