IRL: Michigan: SAFR, Matsuura race report

Matsuura 17th after Disappointing Day in Michigan Rookie points leader Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] saw a promising run end in a 17th-place result this afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Matsuura, who started second for the...

Matsuura 17th after Disappointing Day in Michigan

Rookie points leader Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] saw a promising run end in a 17th-place result this afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Matsuura, who started second for the Michigan Indy 400, was among the frontrunners throughout most of the 200-lap race. As Matsuura, who was running in sixth position, came in for his final pit stop of the day on Lap 158, teammate Adrian Fernandez spun entering his pit box. The incident collected Matsuura's crew member Rhodri Griffiths [outside front/lead mechanic]. Griffiths was able to complete the race, but is being taken to a local hospital for precautionary x-rays for neck pain.

Matsuura, losing time in the pits, returned to the track in 11th position but was soon making up ground. He had worked his way back up to eighth position, but had contact with Helio Castroneves after reaching the lead pack which damaged his front wing. Matsuura had to pit under green for a replacement, and went a lap down. He finished the race in 17th position.

NEXT UP: The Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway on August 15.

Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:

"I am very disappointed again. The first 150 laps were good. On my last pit stop, Adrian [Fernandez] spun in front of me [in the pits] and I couldn't do anything. He hit my mechanic, who I believe is okay, and I lost more than10 seconds there. On the last stint, I was overtaking many cars to get back to the front of the pack. When I caught the pack, Helio [Castroneves] slowed down immediately because of another car and I couldn't avoid him. I touched Helio and damaged my left front wing and I had to pit. That was two mistakes. The team did a very good job, and a very good job on the pit stops. Hopefully we will have a good weekend at the next race in Kentucky."

FAST FACTS: This was his 10th IRL IndyCar Series career start-- currently leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings by 37 points-- currently sits 13th in the championship point standings-- posted best finishing position to date of eighth in Japan-- claimed his third top-10 finish of the season in Milwaukee last weekend-- 24 years old from Aichi, Japan-- began his career in karts at the age of 14-- finished third in the 2003 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup-- finished second in the 2002 German Formula 3 Championship-- won the 2000 Japanese Formula Dream Series Championship before heading to Europe in 2001 to compete in German F3-- has been a member of Co-Owner Aguri Suzuki's ARTA (Autobacs Racing Team Aguri) driver development project since 1998 after climbing up the Japanese karting ranks--currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Tom Anderson, Managing Director:

"In all, it was a pretty good day for the #55 car. We had a couple of incidents late in the race which cost us a good finishing position, but we qualified well and ran well. Honda did a tremendous job this weekend, and the Firestone tires were fantastic. They almost could run two stints today, and we actually left them on one time. The Panasonic car was really good in the later stages and after we had the incident in the pits with the #5 car which put us back a bit, we were still in a good position and moving up. When we got up in the pack, one of the cars in front of him checked up and he got his left front wing up on the tire of that car and had to come in to put a new nose on. That late in the race there was no chance to get it back, so the day was done. It could have been a great result, but we learned a lot and they knew we were here. I'm really proud of all the guys."

-safr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Adrian Fernandez , Tom Anderson , Kosuke Matsuura , Aguri Suzuki