Kia Racing Announces Driver Line-Up For 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Season

 Kia Racing Announces Driver Line-Up For 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Season

Nic Jönsson and Mark Wilkins To Pilot Grand Touring Sport (GTS) Class
Turbocharged Optimas In Kia's Sophomore World Challenge Campaign

- Former Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge champion and multi-time race
winner with Kia's Grand-Am Forte Koup program Nic Jönsson moves over to the
No. 36 turbocharged Optima

- Mark Wilkins returns to the No. 38 turbocharged Optima having contributed a
pole, a win and two podium finishes to Kia Racing's strong rookie effort in
the Pirelli World Challenge last year

PR Newswire

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 28, 2013

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Kia Racing and its racing
partner Kinetic Motorsports today announced its driver line-up for the 2013
Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) season. Veteran Nic Jönsson, who scored Kia's
first professional road racing championship behind the wheel of a Grand-Am
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) Kia Forte Koup in 2011, will
pilot the No. 36 turbocharged Optima, while quick Canadian Mark Wilkins
retains his seat in the No. 38 turbocharged Optima after a stellar rookie
season in 2012 in which he claimed a pole, a win and two podiums for Kia
Racing. Jönsson, Wilkins and the Kia Racing team are currently preparing the
turbocharged Optimas for the March 23^rd PWC season opener at the Streets of
St. Petersburg.

"The Kia Racing team far-exceeded our expectations in our first year of
competition in the Pirelli World Challenge, posting two wins and six podium
finishes with a perfect record of reliability," said Michael Sprague,
executive vice president of marketing and communications, KMA. "Now that the
development year is behind us and off-season testing has gone well, we're
excited to build on our strong first-year results and, perhaps, make a run at
the 2013 championship."

With Kia Racing stepping back from Grand-Am competition this year to focus on
its Pirelli World Challenge Optima program, Jönsson – who, along with his
CTSCC Kia Forte Koup co-driver Andy Lally, narrowly missed giving the brand
its second Grand-Am championship last season – makes the leap to the larger
and more powerful turbocharged Optima. It's a seat with which he's familiar,
however, having handled test-driving duties for an abbreviated development
program prior to the car's 2012 debut and then returned to the role during the
preparations for 2013.

"Running up to the 2012 season, I felt strongly the Optima would be very
competitive in the GTS class, despite how little time we had in the car before
the first race, and I was pleased to see it perform so well. Now, with a year
of development behind us, the 2013 season is our time to take the fight to our
competition," said Jönsson, following a recent testing session. "I am looking
forward to teaming up with Mark Wilkins throughout the year. The Pirelli World
Challenge is a fantastic series featuring a very competitive field with cars
and drivers from many different manufacturers, and we're going to make sure
that Kia takes its rightful place among those world-famous performance

Canadian driver Wilkins returns to Kia Racing after joining the team
mid-season last year. Almost on arrival, he took the series by storm,
qualifying on pole and capturing a victory and podium finish at his home
track, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Wilkins' consistent performance and
methodical approach was crucial in the development of the Optima racecar and
has the team ready to run with the best this season.

"After the success we had in our rookie season, I'm elated to be back behind
of the wheel of the turbocharged Optima for 2013," said Wilkins. "I'm looking
forward to working with Nic after years of competing against him on the race
track. With the great team we already have in place, I'm confident we will
raise the bar for Kia Racing and hopefully make some noise in the GTS class."

Kia Racing kicks off the 2013 PWC with rounds 1-2 in St. Petersburg, Fla., on
March 23-24. Race fans can watch live coverage of the races online at and catch the latest news and updates from the Kia
Racing Facebook page at

Kia: One of the World's Fastest Moving Global Automotive Brands
Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in
each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000
unit mark for the first time. With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs,
Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining
European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter
Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable
pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. Kia recently joined
the exclusive ranks ofInterbrand's "Top 100 Best Global Brands," and is
poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned
vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013. Over the past decade Kia
Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the
company's first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors
Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than
11,000 plant and supplier jobs. The success of the U.S.-built* Optima
andSorento in two of the industry's largest segments has fueled Kia's rapid
growth and is complemented by Kia's comprehensive lineup which includes the
Soul urban passenger vehicle,Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte
sedan, 5-door andKoup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the
Sedona minivan.

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 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves
as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA. In 2012, KMA recorded its
best-ever annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th
consecutive year. 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.

Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available
at its website – For media information, including photography,

SOURCE Kia Motors America

Contact: Scott McKee, +1-949-468-4813,; or James Hope, Kia
Motors America, +1-949-468-1875,
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