Kia Optima Race Car

November 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Yep, that’s right. The Kia Optima family saloon is now having a racing career as Kia and Kinetic Motorsport prepare two cars for the Pirelli World Challenge Championships.

Sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, World Challenge features world-class drivers and race-prepped versions of production vehicles from many of the world’s most popular manufacturers. The Kia Optimas will be the first Korean vehicles to compete in the series — which includes a suspenseful standing start rather than the more common rolling start — and is known for exciting door-to-door action throughout the 50-minute sprint races.

Kia Optima Race Car Optima SX World Challenge 1

World Challenge Optima SXs will compete in the Grand Touring Sport (GTS) class alongside established nameplates such as Mustang and Camaro at world-class race tracks across North America, including Road Atlanta, the street circuit in Long Beach, Calif., and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Looks like Kia’s plans for expanding its motorsport activities are well underway.

“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. “With its aerodynamic styling and outstanding driving dynamics, the Optima SX should be well suited to the ultra-competitive environment of World Challenge racing.”