Day at the Pirelli World Challenge with Kia Racing

Colby and I have experienced a few different racing events, but this past weekend we attended our first Pirelli World Challenge race courtesy of Kia at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The weather was probably not ideal for the event, but, nonetheless, the Kia drivers fared well.

Kia Racing Optima

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In fact, Kia Racing’s New Driver, Ben Clucas was able to pilot the #36 Optima turbo to a second-place finish in a rain-soaked round two. Fortunately, when we met him the Saturday before it was dry. That day he had a top-five finish in round one and earned the “Hard Charger Award” for moving up the most spots on track – starting eighth and finishing fifth. Not a bad start to his racing career with Kia.

Kia Racing Pirelli World Challenge

His teammate, Mike Wilkins, in the #38 B.R.A.K.E.S. Optima turbo, battled hard all weekend, finishing seventh and sixth in rounds one and two, respectively. In round one, he suffered a broken front shock absorber which, subsequently, took him out of podium contention. Yet, he still managed to claim the “Move of the Race” with a phenomenal overtaking move exiting turn one.

More from Kia:

Kia Racing’s defense of the Grand Touring Sport (GTS) Manufacturer Championship got off to a strong start with second and fifth-place finishes during the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) season-opening weekend at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Kinetic Motorsports’ privateer Kia Forte Koup program, which claimed the Touring Car A (TC-A) class Manufacturer Championship for Kia last year, also started the season off in fine style, scoring two podium finishes, including a win for Jason Wolfe – last year’s Touring Car A (TC-A) Driver Champion and Rookie of the Year.

For us, it was time of fellowship and learning. A new circuit with new rules. There were definitely cars we recognized but we had not seen them in this sort of racing environment. It was fascinating and, wow, the action was non-stop. With so many curves and exotic cars on the course, you can bet it was an exciting race to watch. Take a look at this amazing video that OMGPacini made of his day at the races… (we were right alongside him for the filming):

As you can see, we were able to get a few different perspectives on the race as far as viewing angles. Kia made sure we were fed well throughout the day. Not to mention, you simply could not beat the conversation and the hospitality we were given. It made for an incredible day, despite the cold wind, and I look forward to further opportunities to attend more races like this in the future!

Kia Racing Claus 36

Be sure to follow @Kia for race updates, as well as vehicle news and product information.

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