Kinetic Motorsports Enters the 2011 "Kia 200" Continental Tire Challenge Sports Car Race with Two Kia Forte Koups in the Street Tuner (ST) Class
-- Drivers Nic Jonsson and Michael Galati to Pilot #10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup; Drivers Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood Return in #12 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup
March 2, 2011 -- BUFORD, GEORGIA ...Coming off a podium finish in the 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge season's inaugural race at Daytona International Speedway, Kinetic Motorsports and Kia Motors America are looking forward to the second race of the season at Homestead Miami Speedway on Saturday, March 5, 2011. The "Kia 200" is a two-and-one-half hour race, and will feature Kinetic Motorsports' two Kia Forte Koups in the ST class, including the # 10 entry with drivers Nic Jonsson and Michael Galati, and the # 12 entry with drivers Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood.
The Kinetic team is also proud to be part of the Kia Motors America-sponsored "Kia 200" race at Homestead, the first sports car race event sponsorship by Kia. Additionally, the all-new 2011 Kia Optima Turbo has been selected as a pace car for both the Continental Tire Challenge Series "Kia 200" race and the "Grand Prix of Miami" Rolex Sports Car Series race this weekend.
"Partnering with Homestead-Miami Speedway to create on- and off-track activations is an important next step in the development of Kia's U.S. racing program as we continue to grow our presence in the world of auto racing," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, Kia Motors America. "Our first-ever podium finish at Daytona has created increased interest and expectations for Kia's motorsports efforts, and we are looking forward to an exciting weekend of racing and the opportunity to showcase the stylish and performance-oriented Optima Turbo to passionate followers of GRAND-AM racing."
"A great opportunity arose at Homestead to show the Kia Optima Turbo as a pace car," said Russell Smith, owner of Kinetic Motorsports. "We wanted to introduce dealers and VIPs to the race program for the first time, and to activate in a meaningful way at the race track. Also one of sponsors' partners, Infinity Audio, put up a modest display to complement the activities that Kia has planned."
Coming off a second place finish for Kinetic Motorsports and Kia Motors America at Daytona International Speedway in January, the team is looking forward to another great race on Saturday. At Daytona, the #10 Kinetic Motorsports entry captured a podium finish with drivers Nic Jonsson and Andy Lally behind the wheel. Although the team is expecting another hard-fought battle on the track this weekend, they will be racing without Andy Lally. Lally was offered an opportunity to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and will be replaced in the #10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup with veteran Michael Galati as Nic Jonsson's co-driver.
"Looking at the good start the team had at Daytona, it makes me even more excited to join the Kinetic team," said Michael Galati, originally from Italy. "I saw their operation while in Georgia for the test and saw that they are first class. Although it has been a couple of years since I raced at Homestead, I have full confidence in the team and I think it's going to be a great program."
"We had a shakedown last week at Road Atlanta and our new driver, Michael Galati, got up to speed in the #10 car," said Nic Jonsson, Galati's co-driver and Kinetic principal. "Although the #12 car got hit in practice at Daytona with bad damage to the rear end, the car went back to the shop, got repaired and repainted, and it looks like new again. We're really excited about having Michael on board with his experience and professionalism and looking forward to going down to Homestead where we will have another good event."
"The result at Daytona was a huge plus for us, and much unexpected. It was not in the cards for us to podium, but I think it was a combination of intelligent teamwork and driving that got us there," continued Russell Smith. "That makes Homestead an interesting proposition because we're returning there with a new driver and we are looking for a significant improvement in lap times from last year. We just don't get the opportunity to fully stretch the car's legs at Homestead. I think we're looking for improved performance, and both cars in the Top 10. We set our bar very high with the first race. We've had the racing gods in our favor so far this year so let's hope they're looking on us at Homestead."
"I think it's great to see, from a business standpoint, Kia is utilizing the motorsports program, not only to entertain, but also as a marketing tool," added Nic Jonsson. "Kia has invited 200 VIPs and dealers to the 'Kia 200' for Saturday's race. Having the branded name 'Kia 200' and the new Optima 2-liter turbo for a pace car for the Continental Tire and Rolex races is great because it will give Kia a lot of recognition."
"Daytona was a disappointing outcome for Adam and I, but then getting to see the Kinetic guys enjoy celebrating the podium and being a part of that accomplishment for Kia was as good a way to feel better about the weekend as I could picture," said Trevor Hopwood, who co-drives the #12 Kia Forte Koup with Adam Burrows. "Now we're all focused on Homestead and hopefully we can bring some new success for Kia."
"It's going to be exciting to meet all of the Kia dealers that will be on hand this weekend--they have so much enthusiasm for this program and it's great to see how what we are doing is translating into excitement about the products in the showroom. Hopefully we can put on a good show for them," Hopwood continued.
Hopwood's co-driver, Adam Burrows, was equally excited about showing off his Kia Forte Koup to all of the Kia enthusiasts and dealers at Saturday's race. "Two years ago, you would have never believed that Kia would have this much commitment to the sport and be making such a statement not only with the result that Kinetic achieved at Daytona, but also with this level of support for a race event," said Burrows. "So we're tremendously motivated this weekend, as ever. There is going to be such a large contingent of Kia dealers and associates and I'm really looking forward to showing them the No. 12 up close."
Notes of Interest: The local Kia Dealer, Carriage Kia in Gainesville, Georgia, assisted with the body repairs of the #12 car following the Daytona race. "It's great for us to have a local Kia dealership we can work with on special occasions," said Russell Smith. "Carriage Kia really helped us out after the damage we suffered at Daytona in the #12 car. Now it looks brand new and is ready to go for Homestead."
Thursday morning, March 3rd, Kinetic Motorsports driver Nic Jonsson will get to drive his #10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup on the streets of Homestead, Florida as he serves as chauffeur to a Miami Lakes Middle School student. The young winner of the "Drive Your Kid to School" promotion will get the ride of his life as Jonsson makes a pit stop off the track to drive the young student to school, along with a full police escort. The promotion is part of Saturday's "Kia 200" Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge Series race activities.
-source: kinetic motorsports