IRL: Homestead: Panther Racing qualifying report

Meira Leads Panther Attack at Homestead From Eleventh Place Newcomer Matsuura Starts 18th HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 23, 2007) -- Delphi Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira will lead Panther into the 2007 IndyCar Series season after qualifying...

Meira Leads Panther Attack at Homestead From Eleventh Place
Newcomer Matsuura Starts 18th

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 23, 2007) -- Delphi Panther Racing driver Vitor Meira will lead Panther into the 2007 IndyCar Series season after qualifying 11th for the XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 tomorrow night at Homestead Miami Speedway. Meira's new teammate, Super Aguri Panther driver Kosuke Matsuura, put his Panasonic Panther Dallara Honda in the 18th position for tomorrow's race.

Meira posted a top lap of 211.771 mph, 25.2443 seconds in what will the debut of his new Delphi Panther Dallara Honda. Panther Racing is entering its 10th season in the IndyCar Series, and the team's partnership with Delphi comes as it is also entering its tenth year of competition in the series. Vitor finished fifth in the 2006 IndyCar Series Championship, and tied Sam Hornish Jr's team record with 12 Top Ten finishes during the year.

Matsuura is preparing for his first career start in a Panther car, after spending the past three seasons at Fernandez Racing. The former league and Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year posted a quick lap of 210.179 mph, 25.4355 seconds. Kosuke finished sixth at Homestead last year, his best career result at the 1.5-mile speedway.

Vitor Meira:

"I'm excited for the race because the balance of our Delphi Panther car is so good. In qualifications, I think we missed a little bit on the gears. I had to shift and I know that hurt my time. I knew I would be close to the Top Ten, but we never take everything out of the car. I'm ready to start the season. This is going to be fun tomorrow."

Kosuke Matsuura:

"It's the first race of the year and the car is improving everytime I run. I am not happy about my starting position but I am confident about our race setup so I am not worried. I am looking forward to the race tomorrow."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Kosuke Matsuura , Sam Hornis , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing