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Well, if photos of K9′s tooling around Southern California with state manufacturer plates are any indication, the answer would likely be yes.
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.
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.”