LONG BEACH, Calif., April, 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In just its third Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) race, Kia Racing today recorded its first-ever podium finish on the legendary Streets of Long Beach circuit in front of a huge crowd of home-town fans and Kia employees. Unlike the first two rounds of the PWC in St. Petersburg last month, the 50-minute sprint race in Southern California was run without any full-course caution flags, enabling Braun to separate from the majority of the Grand Touring Sport (GTS) class and bring the No. 38 Infinity Audio Optima home in third place.
"It's fantastic to get our first podium in just our third race with the Optimas, and to do it in front of a big crowd of Kia Racing fans makes it even more special," said Braun. "I had to work hard to stay out of trouble, which can be difficult on this street circuit, but I can't think of a better way to spend my honeymoon."
After a great qualifying session in the morning, which placed Kia's two Optimas third and fourth on the grid, Kia Racing started the race side-by-side on the second row and battled with Justin Bell's Ford Mustang before settling into a groove and running nose to tail in fourth and fifth place. The Optimas separated when a flat-spotted tire caused Michael Galati to take the No. 36 Optima to pit lane for a replacement midway through the race. He would ultimately recover to finish 11th in class. Braun remained strong for the duration of the race en route to the final spot on the podium.
"Our Southern California racing debut was a big day for Kia Racing, Colin Braun and our partner, Kinetic Motorsports, who put on a great show for the Kia team members in attendance." said Michael Sprague, VP Marketing & Communications, KMA. "Securing the Optima's first podium in Long Beach is something we will remember for a long time."
Race fans can watch the No. 38 Optima race to Kia's first-ever Pirelli World Challenge podium on the NBC Sports Network on Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m. ET. (Time and date subject to change. Check local listings). Round four of the PWC will take place at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday, April 28 at 2:35 p.m. MT/ 1:35 p.m. PT. Check out live race status, photos and updates at facebook.com/kiaracing, and watch live streaming race coverage at world-challengetv.com.
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.
SOURCE Kia Motors America