When most Aussie race fans think about race winning marques and high performance motoring the brand Kia doesn’t spring instantly to mind.
But in North America at least, the Korean manufacturer is developing a reputation for performance with a high profile regular racing program.
That program found success recently when Michael Galati drove his Infinity Audio Optima Turbo to victory in round eight of the Pirelli World Challenge Championships at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP).
It was the first racing win for the turbocharged Optima in Kia Racing’s rookie season in the series. Adding to the excitement for the team, Galati’s teammate Mark Wilkins, who lives in nearby Aurora, Ontario, created his own highlight reel, racing side-by-side with Toronto’s Aaron Povoledo lap after lap around the high-speed circuit until he finally secured second place as the checkered flag waved.
“It’s fantastic to be able to score the first World Challenge win for Kia,” said Galati, who lists CTMP as his favorite race track. “The guys at Kinetic Motorsports spent their Christmas vacations in the shop to get these cars built in time for the racing season, and the Optimas have been getting better and better with each race weekend. Now, the whole team is getting a late Christmas present – and I’m thrilled to be able to give it to them.”
Galati started the race on pole, dropped back to third at the start then fought his way back past a Porsche Cayman and a Ford Mustang to retake the lead and held on through a pair of caution periods and restarts to take the win. The victory moves him up to fourth in the driver’s championship points race.
With Kia Racing Media Release