Kia Racing Scores Top-Five Finish In Round Two Of The 2013 Pirelli World
Challenge On The Streets Of St. Petersburg
Kia Racing Comes Away from St. Petersburg with Four Top-Ten Finishes in the
No. 36 and 38 Turbocharged Optimas at Season-Opening Doubleheader Weekend
- Nic Jonsson in the No. 36 turbocharged Optima notches Kia Racing's first
top-five finish of the season in Round Two of the Pirelli World Challenge
- Mark Wilkins in the No. 38 turbocharged Optima finishes with back-to-back
sixth-place finishes and leaves St. Pete fifth in Drivers Championship points
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 25, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Returning to the site of
its Pirelli World Challenge debut one year ago, Kia Racing enjoyed a strong
run on the Streets of St. Petersburg for Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2013 season.
Drivers Nic Jonsson (No. 36) and Mark Wilkins (No. 38) scored back-to-back
top-ten finishes in their Kinetic Motorsport-prepared turbocharged Optimas,
including a top-five finish for Jonsson in Round 2 on Sunday. Wilkins, with a
pair of sixth-place finishes leaves St. Pete ranked fifth in the Drivers
Championship, and Kia sits third in the Grand Touring Sports (GTS) class
Manufacturers title chase.
"Coming to a temporary street circuit where we have only raced once before was
a bit of a challenge, but to leave with four top-ten finishes, including one
top five, is a great accomplishment for us and gives the team momentum right
from the start of the season," said Jonsson. "The No. 36 turbocharged Optima
was extremely quick all weekend, the Kinetic Motorsports crew did a great job
of making adjustments between races, and our top-five finish is a testament to
their hard work."
Both turbocharged Optimas performed very consistently throughout the weekend,
maintaining a 100-percent reliability record that started with the vehicles'
competition debut at this race a year ago. Jonsson and Wilkins finished Round
1 where they qualified: eighth and sixth, respectively. But Jonsson's run to
eighth involved more than just holding station, as he was assessed a penalty
just prior to the race, which forced him to start from the back of the grid
and charge through the GTS field to score valuable championship points.
Round 2 on Sunday featured the threat of rain and the crowd-favorite standing
start, as opposed to the rolling start used in Round 1. The grid for the
weekend's second race was set by lap times from the previous day's race, which
put Jonsson and Wilkins starting sixth and seventh, respectively. As the
40-car field barreled down the front straight, engines roaring, one of the
Realtime Acura TSXs wedged between the Optimas, running three-wide with
Jonsson and Wilkins into a heavily congested turn one.
"The standing start always gets your heart rate going an extra beat or two as
you sit in the car and stare down into an empty turn one, but once we got a
couple laps in and got the tires up to temperature, we were able to spread the
field out a little and run our race," said Wilkins. "The No. 38 turbocharged
Optima ran really well all weekend, and I think we have some good notes to
apply to (the Grand Prix of) Long Beach (Calif.) next month and look to repeat
on the podium there."
Although there was some car-to-car and car-to-barrier contact during the
event, the entire 50-minute contest was run without a single full-course
caution. When the checkered flag finally waved, Jonsson and Wilkins crossed
the line nose-to-tail in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
With a successful weekend in the books, the team returns to Kinetic
Motorsports' shop in Buford, Ga., to prepare for Round 3 of the PWC on the
Streets of Long Beach, Calif., on Sunday, April 21. Kia Motors America (KMA)
will be the presenting sponsor of the Long Beach PWC race, which is just up
the road from the KMA corporate campus in Irvine, Calif.
Televised coverage of Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2013 PWC from St. Petersburg is
scheduled to air Sunday, April 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.
Race fans can always tune in online for live race coverage at
www.world-challengetv.com, and catch the latest news and updates from the
track at www.facebook.com/kiaracing and can follow the team on Twitter 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
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 – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography,
visit www.kiamedia.com. 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, 949.468.4813, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mike Ofiara, Kia
Motors America, 949.943.9376, email@example.com
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