MECHANICAL ISSUE SLOWS RAPHAEL MATOS IN QUALIFYING AT HOMESTEAD, BUT BOUNCES BACK P3 IN FINAL PRACTICE SESSION A mechanical mishap in morning practice shortened the de Ferran Dragon Racing team's track time and created challenges for driver ...
MECHANICAL ISSUE SLOWS RAPHAEL MATOS IN QUALIFYING AT HOMESTEAD, BUT BOUNCES BACK P3 IN FINAL PRACTICE SESSION
A mechanical mishap in morning practice shortened the de Ferran Dragon Racing team's track time and created challenges for driver Raphael Matos during qualifying at the Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Matos missed roughly 55 minutes of the hour-long session and turned only 16 laps during the lone practice round before qualifying. He will start 23rd.
"Unfortunately, we had a mechanical issue this morning which prevented us getting many laps during the practice session - we only got one run in," managing partner and team president Gil de Ferran said. "As a result, without much practice, we did very little to improve the car and that, in turn, affected our qualifying effort."
Despite the setback, Matos did find some positives during qualifying.
"The car ran well and was consistent for qualifying," he said. "I was able to run at the bottom of the track, to maximize the distance, and I could hold that line throughout the run. So that is encouraging for the race tomorrow. The track conditions will be very different for the race, so while qualifying is important, it's more important to have a good racecar tomorrow."
If the evening practice session is any indication, Matos and the HP de Ferran Dragon car could be quite competitive in the race. Matos finished third in the final session with a top speed of 210.338.
"We used this evening's practice to improve the car," de Ferran said. "We hope to move forward during the race, as we have consistently done this season."