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Kia Motors America’s motorsports program hit a new high last year grabbing the Team and Driver titles in the 2011 Street Tuner (ST) class in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Now they’re looking forward to 2012 with new driver pairings for both the number-10 and number-12 Infinity Audio Forte Koups.
The first race of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Championship season will be on January 27, 2012 at Daytona International Speedway and Kia will have Andy Lally and Nic Jönsson to lead the way. Lally returns to the Kia Racing program fresh off his 2011 Sonoco Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year performance, reuniting with ST Driver Champion Jönsson. Both drivers were last seen capturing Kia’s first-ever Grand-Am podium at Daytona in January 2011 before Lally went off to NASCAR.
Both drivers are extremely excited and looking forward to the start of the new season and defending the Driver and Team championships for Kia Racing.
Subaru has announced that Andrew Aquilante and Bret Spaude will return as factory team drivers for their entry in the Grand Sport (GS) class of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The first round of the series will take place at Daytona International Speedway on January 27th, 2012.
Subaru will be fielding a race-prepped 2012 four-door WRX STI, developed specifically to compete with all the other 400-hp vehicles in the class. Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) has been working on a technical progression for the number-35 STI during the off-season and appears to be optimistic heading into round one of the championship.
SRRT Principal Joe Aquilante noted, “We’ve enjoyed a very productive off-season, and our team is looking forward to getting back to the business of racing our Subaru WRX STI. Our drivers have been focusing on honing their physical fitness while our technical staff has been diligently progressing our car development plan. To say that we’re excited for Daytona is an understatement.”
Round one of the 2012 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge starts January 27th at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.
Aston Martin has announced a pair of V8 Vantages will be joining the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with Multimatic campaigning at least one of them.
For those wondering who Multimatic is, they’re recognized as a world leader in composite technology and recently worked with Aston Martin to develop the full carbon fiber monocoque chassis found on the One-77. Multimatic is also well known for their advanced vehicle analysis and dynamic simulation, helping Aston Martin to bring unrivaled specialist capabilities to the One-77 model.
Another collaboration between Aston Martin and Multimatic includes their DSSV Dampers on the V12 Zagato Concept. Multimatic Motorsports is in charge of designing, engineering, building and campaigning several race cars in North America and Europe, and seeing a Vantage V8 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series will be a nice addition.
They’ve only been racing two seasons, but Kia Motors America’s motorsports program has now achieved championship greatness, thanks to Nic Jönsson wining the driver’s title and solidifying Kia in the Team Championship in the Street Tuner class of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Jönsson finished seventh overall, having started the race with a three point lead in the class standings, which was enough to secure the title.
Jönsson and co-driver Michael Galati were able to use the Kinetic Motorsports Forte Koup’s braking, handling and fuel efficiency to their advantage during the 2.5 hour race, battling a field of some 30 competitors to finish first overall in their category.
“Second-year motorsports programs are not supposed to win championships but Kia Motors and Kinetic Motorsports have been committed to being the best since we formed our partnership in late-2009,” declared championship-winning driver Jönsson. “The Kia Forte Koups have been fantastic since getting off the truck at Daytona in January thanks to the tireless dedication of the team. We couldn’t be happier with the end result, and I have to thank Michael Galati whose skill and experience was invaluable in this championship run.”
With their latest victory at Road America in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Kia moves to the top of the team and driver’s standings in the Street Tuner class. Not bad for a team that’s only two years old.
Drivers Michael Galati and Nic Jonsson won in the number 10 Kia Forte Koup at the Road America 200 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. During the two and a half hour race, the two fended off multiple challengers and stayed in the top five for more than half the time, before moving onto first place and holding onto the lead for the last 30 minutes. The Kia ended the race in a spectacular yellow-flagging accident, but by then its victory had already been sealed.
“We went to Road America knowing the course’s long straights and elevation changes provided a significant challenge, especially against some of our turbocharged competitors, but the Kinetic Motorsports team did an amazing job preparing both Forte Koups,” said Michael Sprague, Kia’s vice president of marketing. “The team’s strategy allowed Nic and Michael to use the braking and cornering portions of the track to their advantage.”
The Road America 200 will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Sunday, July 3rd at 1pm EST. The next race for Kia will be at Laguna Seca on July 9th.
Along with the debut of the 2011 Mustang GT with its new 5.0-liter V8 engine, Ford has announced that a race version of the car will compete in the Grand Am Series. Called the BOSS 302R, the car is named after the car legendary racer Parnelli Jones drove to the Trans-Am title back in 1970. Five of the Boss 302s will compete at the 2010 season opener at Daytona.
Based on the FR500C Mustang racecar, which Ford brought back in 2005 and updated last year. A base BOSS 302R will be available for $79,000, while a full Grand Am Spec model will retail for $129,000. In total just 50 BOSS 302 R’s will be built.
Grand Am spec models get a special Grand-Am Homologation Package (M-FR500-BOSS R1), which makes them eligible to compete in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (formerly known as KONI Challenge). It includes a close-ratio six-speed transmission, upgraded cooling system, a seam-welded body, race suspension and KONI shocks, ABS brake tuning, a race exhaust and a one-piece driveshaft.
By sending five cars to Daytona, Ford is hoping to recreate some of the magic from 2005 when the FR500C ran their and took its class victory, just days after being delivered to its owner. Since then the FR500C models have won three Triple Crown championships of driver, team and manufacturer’s titles in KONI competition including back-to-back wins in 2008 and 2009, while overseas the FR500C has has taken the 2007 and 2008 driver’s championships in the FIA GT4 class.
“To keep pace with consumer demand, the Ford team has built modern versions of the most iconic performance Mustangs over the years,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “From Shelbys to Bullitt, Mach and Cobra Jet, it is now time for BOSS to join the list of America’s most coveted Mustangs. The original BOSS 302 was a championship-winning legend and the new Mustang BOSS 302R will carry on the tradition. The Mustang was born to race from the start, and this new Mustang is bred to win.”
GALLERY: BOSS 302R
Official release after the jump: