Following a successful year in 2010 Kia is coming back to GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series’ Street Tuner (ST) class with the Forte Koup. The refined cars will make their racing debut at Daytona on January. The improvements include a new final drive gear, a lighter weight flywheel and clutch assembly and new exhaust system.
The new cars are also 100 pounds lighter than the 2010 version. Last year 12 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koups racked up an impressive list of accomplishments including two top five and six top ten finishes, leading two races, and ranking fifth in the engine manufacturer standings.
In addition to off-season vehicle development, Kia’s racing program and the Kinetic Motorsports team also served as high-profile brand ambassadors for Kia Motors by strapping dealers and team members into the Forte Koups for hot laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of the company’s national dealer meeting in October.
“Right from the start it was easy to see the tremendous potential of the Kia Forte Koups last year as both cars proved to be reliable and remarkably responsive to driver input,” said Andy Lally, driver of the No. 10 Forte Koup. “With the performance improvements the team at Kinetic Motorsports was able to make throughout the season, and after a few months of testing and adjusting since the last race, the entire team is excited and optimistic about the potential for the Kia racing program in 2011 and beyond.”
“Our primary objectives in 2010 were to get the Kia Forte Koups on the track and learn as much as we possibly could at every opportunity while also making improvements as the season progressed to be consistent and competitive for a first-year program,” said Christian Rushforth, Kinetic Motorsports’ Kia project engineer. “While we certainly did learn a lot, and in some cases may have exceeded our own goals, including leading a few races, our entire off-season program was based on the goal of getting the Kia Forte Koups on the podium in 2011.”