ormed by Russell Smith and racer Nic
Jonsson in 2005, Kinetic Motorsports
established its name in sports car racing
through traditional means before joining
forces with Kia Motors America to serve as
its racing and aftermarket solution provider.
“We started club racing with Porsches,
then Nic and I decided we wanted to do
something at a higher level,” says Smith. “So
we went into IMSA GT3 and ran a number of
cars there in the early years of that series,
then took the next logical step to Grand-Am.
We were racing BMW E46s, did very well
with those, moved up to the new M3 V8 in a
customer program, and that’s pretty much
the same time that we met Kia. In 2010, we
came together to run the two Forte Koups.”
As the relationship with Kia has grown,
Kinetic Motorsports has become a
Kia Racing and Kinetic Motorsports have grown together
beacon for brand loyalists seeking
performance parts for their daily drivers.
Running under the Kia Racing banner,
Kinetic fields a pair of Optimas in Pirelli
World Challenge GTS for Jonsson and Mark
Wilkins. With the growing success of the
PWC Optimas, Kia and Kinetic are hoping to
expand their horizons into bigger programs,
but it’s too early to say where that will lead.
“Our people are the reason for our
success, and we’ve been fortunate to
recruit some amazing staff,” says Smith.
“And we want to keep growing and
delivering for Kia. They’ve executed in
every championship that they’ve been in
so far, and we need to decide what the
longer term plan may be. When the right
opportunity comes along, we’d definitely
like to take on new challenges with Kia.”
With the Optima racecar causing quite a stir
at RACER ’s shoot, photographer Richard
Dole couldn’t resist asking some of the
assembly line workers to install its lightened
doors. Proud fans of Kia’s racing programs,
they were happy to oblige. Thanks guys!
FUN ON THE ASSEMBLY LINE
78 JUne 2014