IRVINE, Calif., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With a win and three-straight podium finishes in the past three Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) events, Kia Racing is now second in the Grand Touring Sport (GTS) Manufacturer and Driver point standings. As the 2013 season passes the midway point and turns to picturesque Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., Kia Racing driver Mark Wilkins has his sights set on the top step of the podium as well as the top spot in the Driver Championship. Meanwhile, the team is looking to capitalize on its recent success and help Kia Motors America (KMA) support two of its national philanthropic partners, DonorsChoose.org and the B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School.
"Starting with our podium finish in Austin (Texas) and through to our win in Detroit, Kia Racing has really got some momentum now," said Wilkins. "But we can't take anything for granted. Although I've run Lime Rock in the past, this will be the first time the Kia Optima has been on that track, and there's always a learning curve in those situations. That said, the Kinetic Motorsports crew is the best in the business, and we'll be ready to help Kia support B.R.A.K.E.S. and DonorsChoose.org – and hopefully celebrate with them in victory lane."
As Lime Rock Park is the only PWC event in the Northeast in 2013 and coincides with the Fourth of July holiday, Kia Racing is kicking off the race weekend with fireworks of their own, stopping in New York City's SoHo district Tuesday, July 2nd, for the second-annual "Stars and Cars" VIP promotional event and then visiting Danbury Kia in Danbury, Conn., on Wednesday, July 3rd, to sign autographs, show off the Kia Racing Optima, hand out Kia Racing gifts and pose for photos with fans.
During the Stars and Cars block party – which is scheduled for 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Tuesday, July 2, at Seize sur Vignt men's boutique at 78 Greene Street in New York's SoHo district – Kia Racing will unveil its new partnerships with DonorsChoose.org and B.R.A.K.E.S. with hundreds of guests and media in attendance. Both the No. 36 and 38 turbocharged Optimas will feature the logos of DonorsChoose.org and B.R.A.K.E.S. on the bright red carbon-fiber bodywork for the remainder of the season to raise awareness for these very worthy organizations.
2013 will mark Kia's second year of partnership with DonorsChoose.org, the New York City-based online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help out public school teachers and students in need. Last year, through a million-dollar matching program, Kia and DonorsChoose.org mobilized more than 21,000 "citizen philanthropists" to fund more than $2 million in educational supplies and resources, impacting nearly 500,000 students across America. With a series of similar programs planned for 2013, Kia and DonorsChoose.org are aiming for a two-year total of more than $5 million. Kia Racing will showcase the partnership and invite race fans everywhere to support education in America. As little as $1 can help make a difference. Founded in 2000, more than 140,000 public school teachers have used DonorsChoose.org (www.donorschoose.org) to secure funding for $180 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through DonorsChoose.org, individuals from all walks of life have helped 8.9 million students.
B.R.A.K.E.S. (www.putonthebrakes.com) stands for Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe, a Teen-Pro-Active Driving School that provides free, hands-on defensive driving instruction for teens nationwide in an effort to prevent injuries and save lives by educating teens and their parents about the importance of responsible driving habits. As the presenting sponsor and official vehicle of B.R.A.K.E.S., Kia's support includes a fleet of 32 vehicles, which will be used to provide teenagers ranging 15 ½ - 19-years old with advanced training to respond to real-world driving scenarios.
"We're extremely honored to carry DonorsChoose.org and B.R.A.K.E.S. on the Kia Racing Optimas and to race for such great causes," said Russell Smith, owner of Kinetic Motorsports. "Helping kids in the classroom and keeping them safe behind the wheel provides a great deal of satisfaction to the entire team. It gives us purpose and motivation because success on track means victory for the people who are doing such valuable work in our communities."
Televised coverage of Rounds Eight and Nine of the PWC from Lime Rock Park is scheduled to air Saturday, July 20 at 4 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network (dates and times subject to change). Race fans can always tune in online for live race coverage at www.world-challengetv.com, and catch the latest news and updates from the track at www.facebook.com/kiaracing and can follow the team on Twitter at @KiaRacing.
Kia: One of the World's Fastest Moving Global Automotive Brands
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of Interbrand's "Top 100 Best Global Brands," and is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company's first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs. The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry's largest segments has fueled Kia's rapid growth and is complemented by Kia's comprehensive lineup which includes the Cadenza flagship sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, 5-door and Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
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 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA. In 2012, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year. 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 – 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 http://www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
SOURCE Kia Motors America