- Kia's Motorsports program continues with fourth consecutive entry into Targa Newfoundland
- Kia Canada heightens road safety awareness and MADD partnership with Forte Koup team though mapofhope.ca while encouraging Canadians to take the pledge to drive sober
- Partnership with Live Nation and Optima Turbo continues for a second straight year
- Vehicles will engage Newfoundlanders and national Canadian Auto Show circuit in 2014
ST, JOHN'S, Sept. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Kia Canada is thrilled to compete in its fourth consecutive year in the gruelling Targa Newfoundland rally. This year will mark the second straight year that Kia Canada is racing with two vehicles: an Optima Turbo mid-size sedan and a Forte Koup SX.
The pair of vehicles entered both have well-experienced drivers behind the wheel and minor enhancements that will ensure the teams are top contenders in Canada's longest and toughest motorsport event. In the award-winning Kia Optima Turbo, Targa Newfoundland co-founder and journalist Jim Kenzie will steer the vehicle under long-time co-driver Brian Bourbonniere's direction. The Forte Koup will be piloted by seasoned driver and Autonet.ca journalist, Jacques Deshaies, with experienced colleague Guy McKenzie as his co-driver.
"Kia Canada is excited to be entering into its fourth consecutive Targa Newfoundland. The event has demonstrated to be a proving ground for our vehicles and substantiates the underlying reliability and quality that our product portfolio exemplifies," said Maria Soklis, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kia Canada Inc. "We look forward to both drive teams competing well in their class at an acclaimed and world-class international motorsports event here in Canada."
With stiffer suspensions and increased braking power, the teams will focus to stay at the sharp end of the competitive Modern Division, the same division where they captured two of the top five sports last year.
Both cars are outfitted in custom vinyl wraps signifying two of Kia's significant partnerships. The Forte Koup aligns Kia Canada's quest to drive awareness with road safety along with national partner MADD Canada urging Canadians to recognize the profound messaging displayed and visit www.MapOfHope.ca . At mapofhope.ca individuals can take the pledge to drive safe and sober or to create a memorial of a lost loved one on an interactive map of Canada. The Optima Turbo is outfitted in a vinyl wrap depicting Kia Canada's partnership with Live Nation, the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto and the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.
"Targa Newfoundland is the most fun you can have in a car with your clothes on," said Jim Kenzie, driver of the Optima Turbo. "I'm delighted to be back for the 12th annual Targa in the Kia Optima Turbo. The car proved plenty quick in its debut rally last year, and with new AP Racing brakes and Hot Bits suspension, my navigator Brian Bourbonniere and I are confident we'll improve on last year's fifth place finish. And, we're still the only car in the field with a back-up camera!"
"I am thrilled to be with the best team at Targa Newfoundland for the third straight year," said Jacques Deshaies, driver of the Forte Koup SX. "I have my eyes on a podium finish this year with a few upgrades to run the vehicle faster than in the past and look forward to represent both Kia Canada and MADD Canada proudly."
Kia Canada has been a pioneer in Targa Newfoundland competition, with a proven track record that stretches back to the first Targa Newfoundland 12 years ago in 2002. Having previous Targa experience, Kia is confident in both drive teams capabilities. Kia was among the earliest corporate supporters of Targa, and aims to heighten its brand's motorsport awareness, as well as its partnership awareness nationally through their participation as the vehicles will visit various auto shows across Canada in 2014.
About Kia Canada Inc.:
Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca - www.facebook.com/kiacanada) a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) which was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality, class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 181 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 159 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada, with an all-new state-of-the-art facility in Montreal. Kia's brand slogan "The Power to Surprise" represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.
About Targa Newfoundland:
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2013 competition starts in St. John's on September 14 and concludes back in the capital on September 21. The 12th annual rally will cover more than 2,000 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including up to 450 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
SOURCE: KIA Canada Inc.
For further information:
National PR and Corporate Partnerships Manager
Kia Canada Inc.
Public Relations and Events Coordinator
Kia Canada Inc.