IRVINE, Calif., April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- It was a historic weekend for Kia Motors' second-year motorsports program as Michael Galati and Nic Jonsson co-drove the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup to the company's first-ever racing victory in the Street Tuner (ST) class of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) race in Birmingham, Ala. A large contingent of Kia dealers and team members from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) filled the Barber Motorsports Park stands to watch Kia win the Barber 200 in just the third race following the team's "development year" in 2010.
"After starting the year with two top 10 results and our first podium finish, we arrived at Barber Motorsports Park with high expectations and our sights set on earning Kia's first-ever victory," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, Kia Motors America. "With the proximity to KMMG, the Barber race was a bit of a homecoming for us, and the efforts of Michael, Nic and the entire Kinetic Motorsports crew led to this tremendous milestone. Notching our first win with a large number of Kia team members and dealers cheering us on made the result even more memorable."
In addition to the victory, the driving pair of Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood recorded their first top 10 finish of the year in the No. 12 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup.
After qualifying in the sixteenth position, Michael Galati maneuvered the No. 10 Forte Koup through the field and into the top 10 early in the race before handing the car off to Jonsson as part of a flawless pit stop with 90 minutes remaining in the two and a half hour event.
With Jonsson behind the wheel, the No. 10 car quickly moved up the grid and into the top five before overtaking the leader with just over 30 minutes remaining in the race. Jonsson led the final 23 laps as he held off several challengers on his way to securing Kia's first-ever checkered flag.
"It's nearly unheard of for a second year racing program to stand on top of the podium, and today was a special day for Kia Motors and Kinetic Motorsports," said Jonsson. "It's even better that we were able to deliver our first win with so many Kia dealers and team members from the plant here, and this result would not have been possible without the tireless efforts and commitment from every member of our racing team."
Racing fans can watch Kia race to its first-ever victory when SPEED broadcasts the Barber 200 on Saturday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koups will return for round four of the CTSCC on May 14 at Virginia International Raceway, and fans can follow their progress and receive live updates from the track at www.facebook.com/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 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.
To follow Kia's motorsports program visit www.facebook.com/kiaracing.
SOURCE Kia Motors America