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. Kia Racing newcomer Ben Clucas, pilot of the No. 36 DonorsChoose.org Optima turbo, followed up a top-five finish in Saturday's round one with his first-career PWC podium in Sunday's rain-soaked round two, while teammate Mark Wilkins in the No. 38 B.R.A.K.E.S. Optima turbo scored a pair of hard-fought top-ten finishes during the challenging weekend. In addition, 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.