The No. 38 Kia Motors America/Kinetic Motorsports Kia Optima will be on display July 9th at Budd's Kia in Oakville, ON. Wilkins will be on hand to sign autographs.
The No. 36 and 38 Kia Motors America/Kinetic Motorsports Kia Optimas driven by Nic Jonsson and Toronto's Mark Wilkins respectively will be competing and Budds’ Kia is proud to be the premier sponsor for both vehicles. On July 8th and 9th prior to setting up at Exhibition Place on the weekend, the team and drivers will be making use of the facilities at Budds’ Kia for the second year in a row. The team will be arriving with a 52-foot truck and unloading both Optima race cars.
On July 9th, Wilkins will appear for an autograph session at Budds'. Wilkins claimed his first Pirelli World Challenge win last year at the Canadian stop on the circuit at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and he looks to repeat the feat on home turf at Exhibition Place. Wilkins is currently in second place in this year’s GTS Drivers' Championship battle. Along with hosting Wilkins and the Kinetic team, Budds' will be having a BBQ and draw for a package that includes admission to the race for the whole race weekend. Budds' will also be drawing the winner of the “Win Your Tires” Pirelli contest (see www.buddskia.com).
Event Schedule – July 9
10:30am – Arrival of Mark Wilkins
12:30pm – BBQ
12:45 – Arrival of Media / VIPs
1:00pm – Autograph Session
1:20 – Prize Draws
*Kia race vehicles will be on display until 7pm.
Kia Motors America
Kia Motors is one of the world’s fastest moving global automotive brands and the first Korean car company to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge. Kia’s fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs have earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, Kia recorded its 17th consecutive year of U.S. market share growth. The company’s manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs, and also built the turbocharged Optima vehicles that will battle in the GTS class.
For 40 years now, the Budds’ Group of family-owned dealerships has been providing customers in southern Ontario with quality automotive services. Budds’ employs nearly 500 employees in the greater Toronto area, with a focus and commitment on providing great customer service.
Budds’ were excited to welcome the Kia brand into their growing family of dealerships in 2011.
Since becoming part of the Kia dealer network, Budds’ has developed an intense passion for the Kia brand due to its award-winning designs and affordable pricing. Budds’ Kia is proud to support Canadian driver Mark Wilkins in his quest for the Pirelli World Challenge Championship in 2013.
For more information:
Pirelli World Challenge: http://www.world-challenge.com/
Honda Toronto Indy: http://www.hondaindytoronto.com/on-track
Video from last year’s event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhAhISkz7Rg
About Mark Wilkins
From a young age Mark spent his summer weekends at the race track cheering on his father at every opportunity. At the age of 12 it was time for Mark to begin his quest to become a professional race car driver. Competing locally in go-karts, Mark focused on developing his driving and working on race craft while having fun racing with his friends. At the age of 16, Mark completed the Jim Russell Racing Scholl at Le Circuit Mont Tremblant and quickly came up to speed in his first encounter with open wheel race cars. Mark competed in the Bridgestone Racing Academy school series at Mosport’s driver development track the following year, winning numerous races while continuing to develop his skills.
It was in 2001, when Mark’s motorsport career truly began. An introduction to Toronto-based Aim Autosport would be the start of a 10-year relationship with the team that, as a duo, would go on to represent Canadian motorsport talent on an international stage. Mark finished second overall in the 2001 Canadian Formula Ford Championship, his first pro championship. Over the course of the next four years, Mark would go onto race throughout the United States and Canada driving in the Formula 2000 Zetec Championship, Formula Renault Championship and the Star Mazda Championship, finishing on the podium in every series he entered. In view of challenges impacting North American open wheel racing at the time, Mark elected to direct his focus toward sports car racing. Aim Autosport shared the same focus and the operation switched gears to run in the Rolex Sports Car Series, Daytona Prototype class. Mark and the Aim Autosport team would spend five years in this program, winning two back to back races and capturing the closest finish in Rolex series history in 2008.
In 2010, Mark was recruited to run the three American LeMans Series endurance races with Level 5 Motorsports LMPC class. Mark would go on to win the Sebring 12 Hour and Laguna 6 Hour races that year, while claiming a fourth place finish at Petit LeMans.
In 2012, Mark was asked to join the Kia Racing program to campaign the 2012 Kia Optima SX Turbo in the Pirelli World Challenge Series GTS class. The first year program for Kia and Kinetic Motorsports was highly successful and Mark went on to win his first Pirelli World Challenge race on home soil at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Mark would finish on the podium twice while finishing in the top five in most events. Capping off a great season, Mark won Petit LeMans in the PC class with Core Autosport, giving Mark a victory in every ALMS endurance race.
Off track, Mark spends his time coaching drivers, helping them compete in development race programs or at local track events. Mark spent the 2012 season working with the Canadian-based Speed Merchants team who competed in the Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Canada Series. The team when on to win both the Platinum and Gold class championships. Mark’s strategic and calculated approach to driver development was instrumental in helping the Gold class champion achieve his first championship. Mark takes part in the annual Children’s Wish Foundation event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, which provides children with life threatening illnesses with their wish of lapping the race track in the exotic car of their choice. Mark enjoys staying active off the track and has a keen interest in winter activities such as skiing and snowmobiling.