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 |  Jun 23 2012, 5:46 PM

With Michael Galati behind the wheel of the number 36 Kia Motors America Kia Optima, the Korean automaker has captured its first series win in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge GTS competition.

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 |  Apr 12 2011, 7:58 AM

After a best finish of second during the team’s inaugural run last year, this past weekend Kia topped the podium for the first time ever in the automaker’s history.

Competing in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race, driver’s Michael Galati and Nic Jönsson piloted their No. 10 Forte Koup to first place in the Street Tuner class at Barber Motorsports Park.

After qualifying just 16th, Michael Galati brought the car into the top 10 before handing it off to his co-driver, with Jönsson then taking the lead with a half-hour left, fending off several challenges to secure the win.

“After starting the year with two top 10 results and our first podium finish, we arrived at Barber Motorsports Park with high expectations and our sights set on earning Kia’s first-ever victory,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications at Kia Motors America. “With the proximity to KMMG, the Barber race was a bit of a homecoming for us, and the efforts of Michael, Nic and the entire Kinetic Motorsports crew led to this tremendous milestone. Notching our first win with a large number of Kia team members and dealers cheering us on made the result even more memorable.”

Kia’s second car, driven by Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood placed in the top 10.

If you missed the historic moment, don’t worry, SPEED will show a broadcast of the Barber 200 race Saturday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET