IRVINE, Calif., March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Racing and Kinetic Motorsports return to Barber Motorsports Park for round two of the 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) aiming for back-to-back wins at the beautiful, purpose-built road course carved into the hills outside Birmingham, Ala. Coming off a thrilling race and photo finish at Daytona in January, the team is optimistic about the Koups' chances to once again stand tall on the podium at Barber.
"We are really looking forward to going back to Barber where we had our first GRAND-AM win with Kia last year," said Jonsson. "Both Forte Koups should be very strong in Birmingham, and following the racing debut of the new Kia Optimas last weekend in St. Petersburg, which resulted in two top-ten finishes in our first World Challenge series event, the entire crew is energized to return to Barber and take the next step in defending our 2011 Team and Driver championships."
Something else to watch for this weekend: Andy Lally has a chance to make motorsports history at Barber by becoming the first driver with 100-career GRAND-AM podium finishes. Following his most recent CTSCC podium with Kia and his Rolex series victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona, Lally has climbed the podium 98 times in his decorated GRAND-AM road racing career. At Barber, Lally will again be doing double duty, co-driving the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup with Jonsson and piloting a GT-class Porsche in the Rolex series.
Last year, joined by co-driver Michael Galati, Nic Jonsson and the No. 10 Forte Koup dominated the CTSCC round at Barber much to the delight of a large contingent of team members from Kia's nearby manufacturing plant – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG). Jonsson and Lally visited KMMG on Tuesday, March 27 to talk about Kia's expanding motorsports program and sign autographs as the team made final preparations for Barber.
"Returning to Barber feels a lot like coming home for Kia Racing," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "With our U.S. assembly plant just down the road in West Point, Ga., our strong dealer body in the area and Kinetic's home base nearby, we are looking forward to seeing a lot of Kia Racing fans at the track and hoping to give them another great show by repeating last year's historic performance."
Round two of the CTSCC at Barber Motorsports Park starts Saturday, March 31 at 5 p.m. ET. Kia Racing fans can check out live race status updates, photos and videos at www.facebook.com/kiaracing. Televised coverage of the race begins at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 8 on SPEED.
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." 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