Panther Racing Gears Up For Infineon Raceway Team Looks to Take Strong Road Course Package to Sonoma SONOMA, Calif. (August 23, 2007) -- After a week of rest, Panther Racing and drivers Vitor Meira, Kosuke Matsuura and Hideki Mutoh are ready...
Panther Racing Gears Up For Infineon Raceway
Team Looks to Take Strong Road Course Package to Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. (August 23, 2007) -- After a week of rest, Panther Racing and drivers Vitor Meira, Kosuke Matsuura and Hideki Mutoh are ready for a run at Infineon Raceway, a track where both the team and its drivers have performed will in the past.
Matsuura, who has been impressive in his last few starts with the team, is especially excited to get back to a road course. He finished eighth at Watkins Glen earlier in the season before collecting his best result of the season, fourth at Michigan -- a result that equaled the Japanese driver's career high. At Infineon last season 2005, Matsuura finished sixth, where he tied his best career finish on a non-oval circuit.
Meira made waves at the Sonoma track last season when a series of dramatic passes late in the race. Still hanging onto hopes of stealing the 2006 championship, Vitor moved from sixth to third just before taking the white flag and another podium finish for Panther. Meira edged passed Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves in a single move for his best career Infineon finish. His finish was also Panther's best effort at the difficult 12-turn course.
Tomas Enge finished fifth at Infineon in 2005, Panther's first career Top Five on a road course.
The Indy Pro Series is having a double-header this weekend, with races on both Saturday and Sunday.
Super Aguri Panther driver Hideki Mutoh is looking for another victory to add to his season total. In his last race, two weeks ago at Kentucky Speedway, Hideki made a three-wide pass on the last lap to claim his first career victory on an oval track. Previously, he collected his first career win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the first race of the Liberty Challenge.
The Motorola Indy 300 at Infineon Raceway will be broadcast live on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio channels 144 and 145.
"Infineon is a very physical course, but I like it. I hope that after riding with the Blue Angels on Wednesday that driving my Indy-car feels like nothing. (laughs). But seriously, the Delphi car has been awesome on road courses this year and we were good enough to finish third here last year, so everybody on the No. 4 side is pretty excited about our weekend."
"At Fernandez (Racing) I did have a good result here at Infineon the first year. But the last two years it wasn't that good for me. But now I'm with a different team, with a different car and we're hoping for a better result. I think this weekend will be much better and I hope we have a good race and finish inside the top six."
"It's my first time to be in Sonoma and to race at Infineon Raceway so my first goal is to get used to the track tomorrow. I will go around the track this afternoon and try to memorize the track. It is the second from the last race this season so I hope I get to gain more points for the championship. I always like to learn and race in new places so I am looking forward to run tomorrow."