The debuts are coming fast and furious at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show so we’re going to be on our toes to stay on top of the action as more cars are unveiled.
One that got our attention was the Kia Optima SX World Challenge GTS Race Car. Given the fact that Kia is a relative neophyte in the world of auto racing, we’ve been pleasantly surprised in the company’s aggressive stance in building race cars. Last month at SEMA , they even introduced their new Rio B-Spec Racer and an Optima USTCC Pace Car . Now, it’s the Optima ’s turn to be tuned to racing specifications, this time for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships.
One possible explanation behind Kia’s sudden enthusiasm in auto racing was born out of the success they’ve had in the sport, despite only being active in competitive racing for the past two years.
"As a brand with no previous racing experience in America, for Kia to win two motorsports championships in just its second year is an incredible accomplishment, and expanding our motorsports footprint with the turbocharged Optima entering World Challenge will continue to build passion and enthusiasm for the brand with an entirely new fan base at different race tracks across the country," said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing & communications, KMA.
The cars were built as a collaborative project between Kia Motors America and Kinetic Motorsports where they will be competing in a racing series that features race-prepped versions of production vehicles from many of the world’s most popular manufacturers. The pair of Optimas that were unveiled at the LA Auto Show have been tuned with aerodynamic styling and outstanding driving dynamics that should make them well suited to handle the high-octane, steel-scraping world of World Challenge racing.