Continential Tire Series - Kinetic Motorsports And KIA Celebrate Second Season Victory
June 26, 2011 – ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN…Nic Jönsson and Michael Galati once again took their #10 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup to the top of the podium at Road America, a result that was completely unexpected for the team. Galati qualified an impressive third on Friday and the team realized what they lacked in torque, they made up for with braking and handling. Both Galati and Jönsson drove great race stints. Jönsson took to the lead on Lap 36 and never looked back. The checkered flag was thrown under yellow on Lap 44 as dusk was approaching in Elkhart Lake.
The #12 car of Kinetic Motorsports finished the race in the Top Six, a solid result for the car that qualified in seventh position by Trevor Hopwood. They ran in the Top Five for the beginning of the race and even led three laps. Adam Burrows’ effort to out brake others in the waning stages of the race was thwarted by an untimely yellow with 20 minutes to go, and he had to settle for sixth.
Road America’s victory was the second win for Kinetic Motorsports and Kia Motors America in the 2011 season, and the third time for the drivers of the #10 car to stand on the podium. After this amazing team finish, Nic Jönsson leads the Drivers Championship by 15 points. Kinetic Motorsports leads the Team Championship by the same margin, and Kia is still in contention for the Manufacturer’s Championship, only 15 points behind the leader, all pending official standings.
Nic Jönsson, driver, #10 Infinity Audio Forte Koup:
“We were very concerned coming here because it’s one of those tracks with long straightaways. It is a track where that the turbo- and supercharged cars would be very strong, which they were. It’s also a lot of handling here, and we had a very good handling car, and brake management is important here, and we really focused on that. When I got in, I had a really good car and the brakes were on point, and I think that won the race for us. We had better brakes than everyone, and we stayed up front. It’s a fantastic day for Kinetic Motorsports and Kia Motors America. It’s the second win in the second year of this program, and that’s almost unheard of. We’re going to work hard, keep doing what we’re doing, and hopefully see more victories for both Kinetic and Kia Motors America.”
Michael Galati, driver, #10 Infinity Audio Forte Koup:
“It’s just fantastic after Watkins Glen; to rebound this way is just amazing. We had a pretty good car. We worked a lot on the handling and it was great on brakes. This track tends to eat the brakes up, and we had discussed a lot that I was to run a pace that was comfortable and make sure I gave the car to Nic with good brakes for the end. I had a great start. I went between the two BMW’s and I just paced myself. I kept the pressure on but tried not to abuse the car. The guys did a fantastic pit stop. We were in and out before everyone else. It’s a great win for Kinetic and Kia and for all the guys that did a great job. We owe it all to the team and their hard work, and the best part is getting to share it with them, because they are really more like family.”
Russell Smith, owner, Kinetic Motorsports:
“What more could we possibly want? It was fantastic and much unexpected result. We came here thinking the car was not going to be well suited for this track. But everything came together. The car ran well and we stayed out of trouble and it was really exciting. To give Kia another win in just the second year of the program is amazing, and we couldn’t ask for more. As far as the #12 goes, they came from way back there and came up to sixth place. To get a win and a sixth place is just phenomenal.”
Trevor Hopwood, driver, #12 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup:
“The strategy was tough-everyone had pitted before we did so we had a lot of ground to make up after the driver change, I did my best to pick up as many spots as I could. It’s tough here with not having the motor that some of the other cars do. I had to really make a lot of moves where I could. I tried to catch up to Nic to try to help him out at the end. The last yellow helped us, getting everyone back in the pack. But the second yellow didn’t because it shortened the amount of time we had to race and move up. Maybe we could have grabbed a few more spots at the end, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Adam Burrows, driver, #12 Infinity Audio Forte Koup:
“Congrats to Nic and Michael on the win. Trevor and Michael ran nose-to-tail in the first half of the race and we were certainly hoping to do that in the second half as well. I had just a great car tonight and have to hand it to Christian and all the boys. I was comfortably reeling in the competitors ahead, and it really felt like we had a car that was better than sixth place. It is just the best we’ve ever felt in this Koup in nearly two years of racing for Kia and it's another big step forward for this whole program to take a win. Hopefully we can do that again soon, and just help push the team to a championship any way that we can.”