-Yvan Muller outperforms Alain Prost’s Toyota
18 December 2003 ? After the first two rounds of the world's premier ice racing championship, the Andros Trophy, Yvan Muller is leading the championship in his Kia Rio, ahead of the Seat Leon of Laurent Fouquet and the ex-Formula One champion, Alain Prost in a Toyota Corolla.
Muller won the first two rounds in Val Thorens and scored a win and third place in Alp d'Huez round in what is clearly no normal Kia Rio. With a mid engined three litre V6 engine producing 260 kW, running through four differentials to guide power to four wheels in a car weighing just 950 kg, performance is, clearly, shattering on a dry surface, let alone the sheet ice race tracks used in this unique race series.
Kia has chosen one of Europe's most successful racing drivers to helm this awesome Kia Rio. Yvan Muller has to his credit no fewer than seven Andros Trophies and 33 race wins in his account, along with touring car wins and titles from across Europe.
The latest round was held nearly 3000 metres up in the Alps, on a purpose-built 820 metre track which had virtually no straights ensuring that the quickest way around is to be sideways all the time. There are seven rounds across Europe, including a round in Paris at the Stadium of France, where a race races on an ice rink replaces football, with the next round is this weekend (19-20 December 2003) in Andorra.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is among the world's fastest growing automobile companies. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to be a top five global automaker by 2010. Kia's 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries make more than a million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Founded in 1944, Kia is Korea's oldest manufacturer of automobiles. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and the international sponsor of the Davis Cup for the Euro/Africa zone.