Kia Forte Koup to enter US Motorsports

Published on November 6th, 2009

The motto of the all-new 2010 Kia Forte Koup (known as ‘Cerato’ in some countries) – “One Hot Ride” – took on a new meaning today as Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled its U.S. motorsports program at the 2009 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA).  KMA has teamed with the Kinetic Group to build and campaign two Forte Koups in the 2010 GRAND-AM KONI Sports Car Challenge Series in the Street Tuner (ST) class.

“The Forte Koup is the latest chapter in the dramatic Kia brand transformation story, and the decision to enter into the motorsports arena was an easy one to make,” said Michael Sprague, Vice President of Marketing, KMA.  “The Forte Koup’s performance-inspired styling and outstanding driving dynamics make it a natural fit for road racing, and competing in GRAND-AM KONI Challenge Series enables us to reach an entirely new and passionate base of automotive enthusiasts.”


The GRAND-AM KONI Challenge Street Tuner (ST) class utilizes production-based race cars and has a wide variety of vehicles from the U.S., Europe and Asia, using weight and intake restrictions to maintain a level playing field for all entrants.

“We researched every form of auto racing in the U.S. to find a fan base that was aligned with our target demographics, and found GRAND-AM to be the perfect fit,” said Sprague.  “In addition to working with the Kinetic Group, we are also proud that Infinity Audio, whose high-end audio systems are offered in several Kia vehicles, will join us as the Official Sponsor of the #10 Infinity Kia Forte Koup Race Car during our inaugural motorsports season.”

As part of its motorsports team development, KMA identified and partnered with the Kinetic Group to develop, build and campaign two Forte Koup KONI Challenge spec cars.  Based outside of Atlanta, Kinetic provides a comprehensive array of in-house services, including fabrication, composites, paint and body, engine and electronics departments.  Kinetic’s staff of engineers, mechanics and crew have extensive race experience in many series, including NASCAR, Indy Racing League, the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM KONI Challenge Series.

Completing the team, decorated drivers Nic Jönsson and Andy Lally have been secured to drive the #10 Infinity Kia Forte Koup entry in the GRAND-AM KONI Challenge Series in 2010.  Joining Jönsson and Lally are Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood, past KONI ST champions to pilot the second team race car.


“We expect the Forte Koup to be a strong competitor in the GRAND-AM KONI Challenge Series starting with the first race in Daytona, and the fact that drivers of Nic and Andy’s caliber along with Adam and Trevor have joined the team reinforces that expectation,” said Sprague. “Building on our involvement in the GRAND-AM KONI Challenge Series and in an effort to introduce the Kia brand to even more racing fans, apparel maker has created a highly modified version of the popular Soul urban passenger vehicle which will serve as the official pace car at several races throughout the 2010 US Touring Car Championship (USTCC) season.”

More information on Kia Motors Corporation can be found on

text & pix: Kia


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