Kia Racing Revs Up For 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Season Opener On The Streets Of St. Petersburg

   Kia Racing Revs Up For 2013 Pirelli World Challenge Season Opener On The
                          Streets Of St. Petersburg

Kia Racing Ready for Sophomore Season in Grand Touring Sport (GTS) Competition
After Very Successful Rookie Season in 2012

- Former Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge champion, Nic Jonsson, migrates
from Kia's Grand-Am road racing program to pilot the No. 36 turbocharged

- Mark Wilkins returns for second year behind-the-wheel of the No. 38
turbocharged Optima after notching a pole, a win and two podium finishes in
Kia Racing's strong development year

PR Newswire

IRVINE, Calif., March 21, 2013

IRVINE, Calif., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Kia Racing and partner Kinetic
Motorsports return to the racetrack this weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla., for
the kickoff the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) season. The No. 36 and No.
38 turbocharged Optimas will take the green flag for Round 1 on Saturday,
March 23. Building on the brand's successful rookie season – a "development"
year that included two wins, six podium finishes and a flawless reliability
record – the team is eager to get back to competition after a winter
off-season spent dialing-in the Optimas in hopes of making a run at a
GTS-class championship in 2013.


"As we enter our fourth year of road racing in the U.S., the Kia Racing
program has been a huge success story for our brand and has allowed us to
demonstrate the durability and performance of our vehicles while reaching an
entirely new audience," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of
marketing and communications, KMA. "Beginning an all-new season in the Pirelli
World Challenge with the turbocharged Optimas and two experienced and talented
drivers behind the wheel is exciting for us, and we have set our sights high
for 2013."

The start of the racing season may only be days away, but the Kia Racing team
has been hard at work for months in preparation for St. Petersburg. Soon
after the 2012 season finale in Sonoma, the turbocharged Optimas returned to
Kinetic's Buford, Ga., shop to be stripped down and meticulously rebuilt from
the ground up, every bolt inspected, every weld examined.

"There wasn't much 'off' in the off-season for Kia Racing," said Russell
Smith, co-owner of Kinetic Motorsports. "In addition to the work we did in the
shop, we were able to conduct a proper on-track testing and development
program, which, for reasons of timing, we weren't able to do before the start
of last season. The insights we've gained and the progress we've made have us
feeling pretty good for the first race, but we're going need everything we've
got because the level of competition in the World Challenge has only got
better in the interim."

Kia made history at St. Petersburg last year when it became the first Korean
car company to compete in the PWC, bringing home two top-ten finishes in
Rounds 1 and 2 at the 1.8-mile 14-turn temporary St. Petersburg street

Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2013 PWC take place on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday,
March 24 at St. Petersburg, Fla. The green flags fly at 5:00 p.m. ET and
10:25 a.m. ET, respectively. Race fans can tune in online for live race
coverage at, and catch the latest news and updates
from the track at and can follow the team on
Twitter at @KiaRacing.

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,
visit To receive custom email notifications for press
releases the moment they are published, subscribe at

* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI
Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

SOURCE Kia Motors America

Contact: Scott McKee, +1-949-468-4813,, or Mike Ofiara, Kia
Motors America, +1-949-943-9376,
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