IPS: IRL: Watkins Glen: Panther Racing Friday notes

Matsuura, Meira Both Top Ten on Watkins Glen Speed Chart Indy Pro Series driver Hideki Mutoh Runs Fourth in First Qualifying Session WATKINS GLEN, NY. (July 6, 2007) -- Both Panther Racing drivers Kosuke Matsuura and Vitor Meira finished Top...

Matsuura, Meira Both Top Ten on Watkins Glen Speed Chart
Indy Pro Series driver Hideki Mutoh Runs Fourth in First Qualifying Session

WATKINS GLEN, NY. (July 6, 2007) -- Both Panther Racing drivers Kosuke Matsuura and Vitor Meira finished Top Ten on the speed chart Friday during practice for the Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix, with Matsuura posting the quickest speed on the team.

In Indy Pro Series qualifications for the Corning Twin 100s this weekend, Panther driver Hideki Mutoh had the fourth quickest time in the first qualification session. Mutoh, who is currently second in the Indy Pro Series points championship, has finished in the Top Five at every IPS race this season except Milwaukee. He won the first race of the Liberty Challenge at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month.

Kosuke, who is looking to rebound from a difficult stretch of bad luck, finished with the eighth-quickest time of the day, and was one of the top five fastest drivers during the final practice session on the day.

Matsuura's top speed was 133.517 mph, 1:30.8648 seconds.

Meira was just one spot behind his Panasonic teammate in ninth position overall, and came away from the day confident about the remainder of the weekend, which includes qualifications tomorrow and the race on Sunday afternoon. Vitor finished second in the Watkins Glen race last season and will look to make the Firestone Fast Six qualification shootout tomorrow afternoon.

Meira's top time was 133.502 mph, 1:30.8752 seconds.

The Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix will be broadcast live on ABC at 3:30 (EST) with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network at XM Satellite Radio channels 144 and 145.

Vitor Meira:

"We're going to be good. The car was strong here last year and we were happy with where we started the weekend, but your car can always get better. I think our performance today along with what Kosuke was able to do has shown that we're going to be in the hunt this weekend. The Delphi guys continue to work hard and it's going to continue to pay off for us."

Kosuke Matsuura:

"I'm happy with the day and it's nice to be back near the top in speed. The car is still not great and we're working on the balance. We were happier with the car in the morning session and the changes we made before the afternoon session weren't very good. We lost a lot of speed in turn eleven, even though we made up some time in several of the other corners. The Panasonic guys should be able to put it together so it works all the way around. I'm confident I can be in the Firestone top six tomorrow."

Hideki Mutoh:

"Today was my learning day and I was busy getting used to the course. It is a pretty hard course so I drove carefully and just concentrated very hard on every lap. I wish there were less yellow during the sessions and I wanted to run little longer. Although I made couple mistakes during qualifying, the time is not too bad so I will just do my best not to make mistakes and set a better time for the second qualifying tomorrow."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Kosuke Matsuura , Hideki Mutoh , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing