Matsuura To Start 10th at Phoenix Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] will make his second IRL IndyCarÂ® Series career start in 10th position after MBNA Pole Qualifying this afternoon for the Indy 200 Copper World Classic at Phoenix ...
Matsuura To Start 10th at Phoenix
Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] will make his second IRL IndyCar® Series career start in 10th position after MBNA Pole Qualifying this afternoon for the Indy 200 Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway. Matsuura posted a best lap of 21.0557 seconds (170.975 mph) aboard the #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone to secure a spot in Row Five of the 20-car grid. Following the IndyCar Series season-opening race in Florida three weeks ago, Matsuura currently sits 11th in the point standings and leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year challenge.
The 200-lap race will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 4:00 pm ET tomorrow as well as the IMS Radio Network and www.indyracing.com.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"We really improved a lot from yesterday. Having a teammate really helps because we can set up very quickly compared to the last race at Homestead. For qualifying, I had a neutral car and the rear was a bit nervous at the exit of the corner, but this was the best car we have had so far at Phoenix [compared to our testing]. I think we will have a good car for tomorrow and I will do my best. We are really improving."
FAST FACTS: This will be his second IRL IndyCar Series start-- qualified 18th and finished 11th at Homestead-- currently sits 11th in the championship standings and leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year chase-- 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:
"Kosuke did a great job. I think the early qualifying spot in line may have helped today because the track got hotter as qualifying went on. Kosuke had it a little loose today but he hung on to it. The young man has a tremendous amount of talent as I have said before and I think the Panasonic team is going to look pretty good as things go on. The new Honda engine we put in last night really lived up to its expectations this morning and this afternoon. We are moving forward in our goals and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race."