IRL: SAFR, Matuura announce 2005 contract

Super Aguri Fernandez Racing Confirms Matsuura for 2005 FONTANA, Calif. (October 2, 2004) -- Team Co-Owners Aguri Suzuki and Adrian Fernandez today announced that Japanese driving talent Kosuke Matsuura will return to Super Aguri Fernandez...

Super Aguri Fernandez Racing Confirms Matsuura for 2005

FONTANA, Calif. (October 2, 2004) -- Team Co-Owners Aguri Suzuki and Adrian Fernandez today announced that Japanese driving talent Kosuke Matsuura will return to Super Aguri Fernandez Racing in 2005 to contest the IRL IndyCar® Series.

Matsuura made his U.S. racing debut with the team this season after finishing third in the 2003 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup and second in 2002 German Formula 3 competition.

"I am very happy to be able to participate in the 2005 IndyCar Series with Kosuke Matsuura as our driver," said Suzuki, one of Japan's most successful racing drivers and the first from his nation to achieve a podium finish in the FIA Formula One World Championship. "Kosuke, as a rookie, has been doing a great job this year. I believe his remarkable talent with this year's experience will lead Super Aguri Fernandez Racing to a great result next season. His inquisitive spirit has inspired the team members, and the team has improved so much during this year. The team has grown together with Kosuke.

"Our goal for the next year is to join the championship battle with Kosuke, and we are looking forward to many exciting races for IndyCar Series fans."

For Fernandez, who also co-owns Super Aguri Fernandez Racing's sister team, Fernandez Racing, Matsuura's return represents an integral component of building a successful 2005 campaign.

"Kosuke is an extremely talented driver, and he has both the talent and hunger to win races," said Fernandez, a two-time race winner to date this season. "This is his first year ever of competing on ovals, and he has obviously shown that he is a quick learner. I have watched him mature with each race, and we look forward to building on his experience next season. Everyone on the team is working very well together, and it is a definite advantage to carry this continuity into 2005. I have no doubt that Kosuke will be a strong contender."

Matsuura will continue to pilot the #55 Panoz G Force machine powered by Honda on Firestone tires, showcasing returning partners Panasonic and Autobacs.

"We are pleased to be a sponsor of the Panasonic Super Aguri Fernandez Indy Racing League team, and are very proud of Kosuke's successful rookie season," said Gene Kelsey, Vice President Brand Strategy Group, Panasonic. "Kosuke has distinguished himself by leading the IRL's rookie standings. With two races left in the season, he has already earned close to $1 million, placing him in the top third of the earnings list. All of us at Panasonic look forward to the start of the 2005 IRL season on March 6 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida, where Kosuke will once again wear the Panasonic Super Aguri Fernandez Racing colors."

Matsuura, 25, of Aichi, Japan, will be making his 15th IndyCar Series start this weekend at California Speedway. His best result to date in IRL competition was a fourth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway. Matsuura currently leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year title chase.

"First of all, I am very happy to be able to stay with Super Aguri Fernandez Racing," said Matsuura. "I would like to show everything that I learned this year, and do my best to join the championship battle next season. I am very privileged to be able to contract with the team at this point of the season, so we can begin to prepare for next year. The team has a very high motivation, and I believe that we will be able to get very good results.

"For this year, I would like to show my best performances here at Fontana and in Texas."

Super Aguri Fernandez Racing was formed in December of 2002, and entered IndyCar Series competition in 2003. The team is led by Tom Anderson, managing director.

"Kosuke has demonstrated a competitive level of natural ability and learning capability this season," noted Anderson. "For these reasons we believe Kosuke has the ability to build on his first year in the IRL and be in a position to challenge for race wins next season. The enthusiasm that Kosuke brings to the team has become a welcome addition which we believe adds to a formula for success. We are very proud of our relationship with our partners Panasonic, Autobacs, Honda, and Firestone and we are very much looking forward to the 2005 IRL season."

-safr-

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