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Kia Racing Announces DonorsChoose.org Partnership For Final Two Events In Bid To Defend Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Titles
Sep 05, 2012 (05:09 PM EDT)


Second in Driver and Team Championships, Kia Racing Adds Innovative Online Charity to Infinity Audio Forte Koups As Part of Drive to Benefit 125,000 Public School Students By End of 2012

· DonorsChoose.org to be emblazoned across the hoods of the Forte Koups at the final two Grand-Am events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Lime Rock Park, inviting race fans to support nationwide philanthropic effort

· Co-drivers Nic Jonsson and Andy Lally are confident going into Monterey that a class championship is within reach

IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In addition to chasing back-to-back championships during the final two races of the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) season, Kia Racing will be driving for charitable dollars at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) and Lime Rock Park, showcasing Kia Motors America's (KMA) recent $1 million donation to DonorsChoose.org and inviting race fans to become "citizen philanthropists" and help support 125,000 in-need public school students across America.  

Kia's donation launched a "Double Your Impact" campaign with DonorsChoose.org, which provides 50 percent of funding for much-needed educational resources requested by teachers from schools near Kia's network of more than 755 retail showrooms across the country as well as the company's U.S. headquarters in southern California and assembly plant in southwest Georgia. By matching community donations, KMA will bring more than $2 million in learning materials and experiences to schools before the end of the year.

"Kia has become the fastest growing car company in the U.S. over the last five years[1], and as our sales have expanded so has our role as a responsible corporate citizen," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing and communications, KMA.  "We want to give back to the communities that we call home, all across the country, and our million-dollar donation to DonorsChoose.org is a great start, but it's only the beginning. Combining our matching program with the communications power of our championship-winning race team, we can literally double our impact for public school teachers and students."

DonorsChoose.org joins Kia Racing just as the on-track action is reaching a fever pitch. With only two races remaining in the 2012 season, co-drivers Nic Jönsson and Andy Lally are second in the Street Tuner (ST) class driver championship, and the No. 10 DonorsChoose.org/Infinity Audio Forte Koup is just 18 points out of the lead for the team title.

"Obviously, our top focus is on winning back-to-back Grand-Am championships for Kia, but we're  extremely honored to have DonorsChoose.org on the Forte Koups for the remaining two races of the year," said Russell Smith, co-owner of Kinetic Motorsports, KMA's motorsports partner. "It's given us another mission, to put a spotlight on the organization and, hopefully, inspire racers and race fans to visit DonorsChoose.org and help Kia support students in need all across the country."

The Kia Racing team is very optimistic heading to MRLS as Jönsson and then co-driver Michael Galati took home a fourth-place finish last season in the No. 10 Forte Koup on their way to winning the 2011 ST Driver and Team Championships.  This season, Jönsson and Lally look to close the gap to first place in points while visiting Monterey.

"The No. 10 DonorsChoose.org/Infinity Audio Forte Koup has been consistent all year long, and it shows in the points race. We are currently second, and Andy and I know what we have to do at Laguna Seca," said Jönsson.  "The No. 10 Forte Koup was strong here last year when we narrowly missed a podium finish, so we like our chances of gaining some ground on first place in the points, which will set us up for a suspenseful final race at Lime Rock."

Meanwhile, Mathew Pombo and Galati will team up again in the No. 12 DonorsChoose.org/Infinity Audio Forte Koup. The duo posted a solid seventh-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and look to keep the momentum going.  Galati, who just completed his first season as the full-time driver of the No. 36 Infinity Audio Optima in the Pirelli World Challenge, will once again substitute for Mark Pombo, who continues his recovery at home following a racing incident earlier in the year.

The Continental Tire Sports Car Festival at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is scheduled for Saturday, September 8.  The green flag drops at 5:30 p.m. ET.  Check out live race status, photos and updates at www.facebook.com/kiaracing.  Race fans can also tune in for television coverage on SPEED Sunday, September 16 at 1:30 p.m. ET. (Time and date subject to change. Check local listings).

Kia Racing will also compete in the TOTAL Performance Showcase at MRLS with the No. 90 B-Spec Rio 5-door driven by Kinetic Motorsports' Russell Smith.  Smith scored Kia's first pole position and race win in the B-Spec category during the Pirelli World Challenge season finale at Sonoma two weeks ago.

About DonorsChoose.org

Founded in 2000, more than 238,000 public school teachers have used DonorsChoose.org (www.donorschoose.org) to secure funding for $120 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn.  Through DonorsChoose.org, individuals from all walks of life have helped 6.8 million students.

About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA.  In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies[2] in the U.S.  Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.

Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.

[1]   Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending July 2007 and July 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.

[2] Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending July 2007 and July 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands.

SOURCE Kia Motors America