KIA MOTORS' U.S. MOTORSPORTS PROGRAM SCORES FIRST-EVER PODIUM FINISH AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Andy Lally and Nic Jonsson Drive the No. 10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup to Second Place Finish in Season Opener
IRVINE, Calif., January 31, 2011 -- Kia Motors' two Infinity Audio Forte Koups proved they will be a force to be reckoned with in their second year on the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge circuit as the driving team of Andy Lally and Nic Jonsson piloted the No. 10 car to a second place finish in last week's GRAND-AM 200 at the legendary Daytona International Speedway. The podium finish is a first for Kia Motors and racing partner Kinetic Motorsports, and was accomplished in the first race following the completion of the program's "development year" in 2010.
"For Kia's second-year motorsports program to reach the podium for the first time at the world famous Daytona International Speedway is an amazing accomplishment, and a tribute to the hard work Kinetic Motorsports put into the Forte Koups during the off-season and the outstanding effort of every crew member at the race track," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing and communications, Kia Motors America. "The camaraderie and persistence of Nic and Andy and the critical drafting help from teammates Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood made the race and the result even more memorable."
The impact of Kinetic Motorsports' off-season modifications were apparent in early practice and qualifying sessions as the Kia Forte Koups posted lap times nearly seven seconds faster than 2010. Andy Lally and the No. 10 car started in the 18th position and he quickly moved up the grid and into the top 10 within the first five laps of the two and a half hour race.
Nic Jonsson got behind the wheel of the No. 10 Forte Koup following a flawless pit stop just past the midway point of the race and with two laps remaining he had moved into the top three. Jonsson's run to the front of the pack was aided by drafting help from Burrows and the No. 12 car which had climbed more than 25 spots in the early part of the race but fell behind by several laps after a broken seat caused by a practice session hit required extensive repairs.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the race and the No. 10 Forte Koup sitting in third place, racing resumed after a yellow flag and Jonsson surged to second place on the last lap after completing a difficult pass in turn one and finished less than one second behind the winner to capture Kia's first-ever podium finish.
"Reaching the podium at Daytona is a fantastic milestone for both Kia Motors and Kinetic Motorsports," said Jonsson. "It's the second year of the Forte Koup program, and to achieve this result in the first race of the 2011 season is unbelievable and something that was only made possible by the hard work and dedication of every member of the team."
Racing fans can watch Kia race to its first podium when SPEED broadcasts the GRAND-AM 200 on Saturday, February 5 at 3 p.m. ET. The Kia Forte Koups will return for round two of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on March 5 at Miami-Homestead Speedway.
-source: kia motors