Kia Becomes First Korean Car Brand to Win Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Grand Touring Sport (GTS) and Touring Car A (TC-A) Manufacturer Titles
- Mark Wilkins, pilot of No. 38 B.R.A.K.E.S. Optima turbo, finishes third in Grand Touring Sport (GTS) Driver Championship for second consecutive year
- Jason Wolfe, driver of the No. 36 Richard Wolfe Trucking Kia Forte Koup, wins Touring Car A (TC-A) Driver Championship and Rookie of the Year honors
Irvine, Calif., September 15, 2014 – Kia Motors claimed the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Grand Touring Sport (GTS) and Touring Car A (TC-A) Manufacturer Championships at the series’ season finale this past weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. On the strength of five pole positions, five race wins and 13 podium finishes during the 16-race PWC season, Kia Racing and partner Kinetic Motorsports bested teams from Ford, Chevrolet, Porsche, Aston Martin and Nissan making Kia the first Korean brand to earn the coveted title of PWC Champion.
“We congratulate the Kia Racing team and our partner Kinetic Motorsports on a fantastic season in which their hard work and dedication, along with the power, performance and reliability of our turbocharged Optimas, proved a winning combination amongst some truly world-class competition,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Kia Motors America. “Everyone affiliated with the Kia brand, including our customers, our dealers, our team members at Kia Motors America and at KMMG, the U.S. plant where the Optima is built, should feel proud of this achievement.”
In addition to their fast qualifying performances and victorious race results, Kia Racing drivers Mark Wilkins and Nic Jönsson combined to lead more on-track miles than any other manufacturer in the series this year. Wilkins, pilot of the No. 38 B.R.A.K.E.S. Optima turbo, finished the season third in the Driver Championship, scoring two wins and six podiums. Jönsson, in the No. 36 DonorsChoose.org Optima turbo, finished the season seventh in the Driver Championship with seven podiums, including three wins.
Adding to the championship-winning weekend was rookie Jason Wolfe, pilot of the No. 36 Richard Wolfe Trucking Kia Forte Koup, who scored four wins and 10 podium finishes in 2014. Wolfe’s double-podium result at the Miller doubleheader – including victory in the final round – secured him the PWC Driver Championship in the Touring Car A (TC-A) class as well as Rookie of the Year honors. Fielded by Kinetic Motorsports, the privateer effort also earned Kia a second PWC Manufacturer Championship. Kia and rival Honda Performance Development finished the year tied in points, but Kia took the title on the strength of its six wins to Honda’s five. Along the way, Kinetic Motorsports was recognized for their excellence, professionalism and sportsmanship when their fellow TC-A competitors voted them “Crew of the Year.”
PWC GTS rounds 15 and 16 at Miller Motorsports Park will be televised on the NBC Sports Network Sunday, September 28, at 2:30 p.m. ET. Highlights are available online at www.world-challengetv.com, and race fans can keep up-to-date with the team via the Kia Racing Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kiaracing and by following along on Twitter: @KiaRacing.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA proudly serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and surpassed the 500,000 annual sales mark for the second consecutive year in 2013 following the launch of seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the rear-drive K900** flagship sedan, Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door subcompacts and the Sedona minivan, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States. Kia’s U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, builds the Optima* and Sorento* and is responsible for the creation of more than 14,000 plant and supplier jobs.
Information about KMA and its full vehicle line-up is available at 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 www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.