IRL: Motegi: Panther Racing qualifying report

Matsuura Set To Start in Ninth Position For Indy Japan 300 MOTEGI, Japan. (April 20, 2007) -- Super Aguri Panther Racing driver Kosuke Matsuura will start the Indy Japan 300 in ninth place tomorrow after he continued a competitive weekend at...

Matsuura Set To Start in Ninth Position For Indy Japan 300

MOTEGI, Japan. (April 20, 2007) -- Super Aguri Panther Racing driver Kosuke Matsuura will start the Indy Japan 300 in ninth place tomorrow after he continued a competitive weekend at Twin Ring Motegi. Matsuura, who will be making his third start for Panther and fourth in Japan, has secured his best starting position as a member of the Panther team.

Vitor Meira, who overcame a crash in Thursday's first practice, secured the 13th spot as his Delphi team is still playing catch up from the incident. Despite the damage to the team's No. 4 car on Thursday, the Panther Pack rallied to prepare the No. 4T car in time to gain valuable practice time. The team has continued to get quicker in each session, a trend that's likely to carry over to the race tomorrow.

Meira's top lap Friday was 202.275 mph, 27.0523 seconds.

Matsuura will be looking to add to his best start of the season with his best finish as a Panther driver, in front of the fans in his home country. Matsuura's lap was 203.138 mph, 26.9374 seconds.

The Japan Indy 300 will be broadcast Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN, with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio Channel 145 and 144.

Kosuke Matsuura:

"I was hoping that I could start from the better position but I am very confident about the race setup so I am looking forward to the race tomorrow. Since we do not have warm-up session tomorrow we tried many things in the Panasonic Honda in the morning practice session. The car feels good so I think I will be able to show a good performance tomorrow."

Vitor Meira:

"The Delphi Panther team is always a little bit better in the race than we are in qualifications. The racecar is good and this is about as good a time as we had for today. Kosuke (Matsuura) was vital to us this weekend to help us overcome the crash we had in practice on Thursday. Now everything is working good for us and we will be strong tomorrow."

-credit: pr

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