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Kia Racing Wins A Race In The Pirelli World Challenge
It was a big day for Kia Racing at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix as they won a race in the Pirelli World Challenge – Kia’s first win this season!
That victory in Round Six of the PWC was followed up by a second-place finish in Round Seven during the doubleheader weekend.
That became the third straight podium finish for Kia Driver Mark Wilkins.
The amazing performance of Wilkins in his #38 turbocharged Optima moved him into second spot in the Grand Touring Sport Driver Championship, with the season now halfway gone.
Wilkins started the weekend by winning pole position for Round Six with a 1:41:475 qualifying round, following that up with a flag to flag win in Saturday’s 50-minute race, snagging Kia Racing’s first win since 2012 when they won at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Wilkins continued his great weekend in Detroit by clinching second place in Round Seven, pushing him ever closer to the top spot in the GTS standings.
Still dripping after being drenched in champagne, Wilkins said that the weekend in Detroit was an awesome experience.
He went on to credit the team and his #38 Optima for helping him achieve such great results.
He felt that the new track configuration was perfectly suited to the Optima, and that the Kinetic crew prepped the car perfectly for the street circuit.
He also said that the goal of the team is to capture the GTS Championship, and that the performance over the weekend in Detroit helped make that dream come ever closer.
He hoped that the stellar performance can help the team build momentum as they move on to Lime Rock Park.
Kia Racing team ranks 2nd in the GTS Manufacturer Championship
The hot weekend in Detroit puts Kia racing in second place in the GTS Manufacturer Championship, just ahead of Acura and only 16 points behind Chevrolet.
It wasn’t all great news for the team, though.
Nic Jonsson sustained serious damage to his #36 turbocharged Optima, making it impossible to finish Round Six or even compete in Round Seven.
The damage occurred when Jonsson’s car came into contact with Peter Cunningham’s Acura TSX.
That sent the #36 car spinning into the concrete wall, before sending it careening down the front straight.
On the bright side, no other cars were involved in the accident, and Jonsson was able to walk away from the wreck without injury. The same could not be said for his Optima.
The Optima’s will undergo much needed repairs back at the Kinetic Motorsports shop in Buford, GA. before heading to Lime Rock Park on July 4-6 for Rounds Eight and Nine.