IRVINE, Calif., June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Following up their historic first win for Kia Motors America (KMA) in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) in April, Michael Galati and Nic Jonsson again co-drove the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup to the checkered flag at Friday's Road America 200 in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Galati and Jonsson battled a field of more than 25 competitors in the 2.5 hour race, and the pair used the Forte Koup's braking and handling advantages on the fourteen-turn circuit to overtake several more powerful turbocharged cars and reach victory lane. With three races remaining in the 2011 season, the victory propelled KMA's second-year motorsports program and racing partner Kinetic Motorsports to the top of the Team and Driver standings in the ST class.
"It's unheard of for a second-year racing program to stand on top of the podium, but to do it twice in a single year is even more remarkable and underscores the tremendous effort both Kia Motors and Kinetic Motorsports have put into the program," said Jonsson. "The team went to extraordinary lengths to overcome the challenges posed by the Road America course and that makes this win even sweeter."
In addition to the victory, the driving pair of Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood had their best outing of the season at Road America with a sixth place finish in the No. 12 Forte Koup. After starting seventh on the grid, Hopwood took the ST lead for three laps before handing the No. 12 car over to Burrows. Team "BurHop" recorded their third top ten-finish of the year, and the race marked the second time this season both Forte Koups finished in the top ten in the same event.
After qualifying in the third position, Galati fended off a series of relentless attacks from several more powerful cars and kept the No. 10 Forte Koup in the top five during the race's first 90 minutes. With just over an hour remaining, Jonsson took the wheel and moved up the grid and into a fierce three-car battle for first place before ultimately overtaking the leader with 30 minutes remaining in the race.
Jonsson successfully held off repeated challenges from the second- and third-place cars for nine laps before a severe accident and full course caution ended the race under yellow and sealed Kia Racing's second victory of the season.
"We went to Road America knowing the course's long straights and elevation changes provided a significant challenge, especially against some of our turbocharged competitors, but the Kinetic Motorsports team did an amazing job preparing both Forte Koups and the team's strategy allowed Nic and Michael to use the braking and cornering portions of the track to their advantage and bring home Kia's second GRAND-AM victory," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "We entered the 2011 season with increased expectations, and the team's hard work and dedication to continuous improvement has paid off with three podium appearances in seven races."
Racing fans can watch Kia's victory when SPEED broadcasts the Road America 200 on Sunday, July 3 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koups will race for the first time in KMA's home state of California when they return for round eight of the CTSCC on July 9 at the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Fans can follow Kia Racing's 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.
SOURCE Kia Motors America