Kia Title Sponsor of New Kia 200

Kia is the new title sponsor of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Homestead-Miami Speedway – creating a race called the Kia 200.

In addition to the 2.5-hour race being named the "Kia 200," which is a first, the Kia Optima Turbo will be the official pace car for the Kia 200 and the Rolex Sports Car Series "Grand Prix of Miami." Both races take place this Saturday, March 5. It is the first Kia vehicle to pace an auto race on U.S. soil.

Kia Motorsports until this year would have been one of the true automotive oxymorons. But the brand is enjoying some recent success. Five weeks ago it captured its first podium finish at Daytona in a Grand-Am race.

"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."

Kia Motors and racing partner Kinetic Motorsports campaign the No. 10 and No. 12 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koups in the Street Tuner (ST) class of the CTSCC. Decorated driver Michael Galati will make his Kia racing debut at Homestead following Andy Lally's departure for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Lally and Nic Jonsson drove the No. 10 car to a second place finish in the GRAND-AM 200 at Daytona International Speedway in the first race following Kia's "development year" in 2010. The No.12 Forte Koup is piloted by former ST class champions Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood.

The Kia Optima Turbo is simply put a great sedan. The 274-horsepower, 2.0-liter GDI turbocharged engine easily reached 120 mph on the straightaway at Palm Beach International Raceway during a recent media introduction. The Optima Turbo did a great job eating up the twisting curves (both left and right) of the track. It aimed where pointed on its 18-inch black machined finish alloy wheels and the electronic stability control did an effective job of keeping the front end pointed where it should be.

The Kia 200, a two-and-a-half hour race, will be broadcast on SPEED on Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m. ET. Race fans can follow Kia's motorsports program and receive live updates at www.facebook.com/kiaracing.

Related Kia News:
Kia Optima Turbo Delivers an Emotional Component to Rational Midsize Segment
Kia Sportage Named 2011 International Truck at Detroit Auto Show
Kia Ends 2010 with Annual Sales of More than 350,000 Vehicles

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