LEXINGTON, Ohio, Aug. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Galati returned to his hometown track of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in style with a fifth-place finish for Kia Racing on Saturday. Galati, whose No. 36 Infinity Audio Optima carried an additional 44 pounds of reward weight after his victory at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park a month ago, drove a hard-but-clean race, battling with series veteran Jack Baldwin for most of the 50-minute contest. Galati started the race in fifth place, dropped back to sixth at the start then diced Baldwin in his Porsche Cayman before reclaiming the top five spot.
"It's a fantastic result for Kia Racing and the guys who worked hard on the car after yesterday's practice. The heat has played a factor for us all weekend and also the extra weight from our win at the last race," said Galati. "We are confident that tomorrow will be another strong day for the No. 36 Infinity Audio Optima. Hopefully, the ambient temperature will cool down, and we can make our way towards the front of the grid."
Mark Wilkins, driver of the No. 38 Infinity Audio Optima, carrying an extra 109 pounds of ballast after his victory and runner-up finish at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park doubleheader, struggled with handling issues much of the afternoon but was in the thick of things at the end and managed to bring his turbocharged Optima home seventh, landing Kia Racing another top-ten finish – the fifth time in ten events that Kia Racing has had both Optimas score in the top ten this year.
"The No. 38 Infinity Audio Optima performed well today. We gambled on a handling package, and we missed a bit, so I wasn't able to stay with Michael towards the end," said Wilkins. "It was great to see Michael up there jostling for a top five, and I know the crew will be working tonight to address our set up, so I'm confident the No. 38 will be towards the front for tomorrow's race."
Galati remains fourth in the Grand Touring Sport (GTS) points race but the top five finish at Mid-Ohio narrowed the gap between him and the third-place Baldwin. Round eleven of the Pirelli World Challenge is scheduled for Sunday, August 5, beginning at 9:55 a.m. ET. Check out live race status, photos and updates at www.facebook.com/kiaracing, and watch live streaming race coverage at world-challengetv.com. Race fans can also tune in for television coverage of rounds ten and eleven on the NBC Sports Network Saturday, August 25 at 1:30 p.m. ET. (Time and date subject to change. Check local listings).
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 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.
SOURCE Kia Motors America
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