It was not the way Kosuke Matsuura had hoped to end his second season of IndyCar Series competition. A spin heading onto pit lane late in the race [Lap 169] ended the day for Matsuura in the Toyota Indy^Ã™ 400 at California Speedway. Matsuura was...
It was not the way Kosuke Matsuura had hoped to end his second season of IndyCar Series competition. A spin heading onto pit lane late in the race [Lap 169] ended the day for Matsuura in the Toyota Indy^Ù 400 at California Speedway. Matsuura was shown in seventh at the time, but had been struggling throughout the race with a lack of speed. Matsuura ended the year with seven top-10 finishes. Unfortunately, his bid for 11th in the championship was halted by the accident, and he finished 14th in the final standings.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone: "The race was really a shame for me and also for the team. At the start, my car was so slow compared to the other drivers. It was impossible to keep up with the other drivers. We made a few changes on the pit stops and it was a little better. Before the last pit stop, I was fighting for position with Buddy [Rice]. I came into the pits and I was braking too hard. The tire locked up and I spun. It happens with an Indy car with the camber on both sides different and also with the stagger as well. It is just unfortunate that it happened."
KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: This was his 33rd IndyCar Series career start-- is in his second season of IndyCar Series competition-- earned 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors-- named 2004 Bank One Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500-- recorded his IndyCar Series career-best finish of fourth at Kentucky Speedway last season, and claimed his career-best starting position of second at Michigan in 2004-- 26 years old from Aichi, Japan-- finished third in the 2003 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup Championship with three wins and eight podiums-- finished second in German F3 competition in 2002 with two wins and six pole positions-- won the 2000 Japanese Formula Dream Championship with six wins and eight pole positions-- currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Tom Anderson, Managing Director: "Unfortunately, we had a difficult day with the Panasonic car. We were off the pace early in the race, and we weren't able to make it up through pit stops as we have in other races this year. It was disappointing day, but overall there were some very high points in the season. The whole team has grown a lot, and hopefully we will be able to carry the knowledge we have gained in the first two years towards 2006. Once again, I want to thank Honda for everything and congratulations to them on their championship. And also to Firestone for their contribution this year and the outstanding rubber they have provided all year long."
John Dick, Technical Director/Race Engineer: "This was the last race of the season and it didn't end the way we wanted it to. Kosuke tried hard, probably a little too hard at the end, and made a mistake that is the kind of mistake you have when a driver tries too hard. The car wasn't very quick today and we are not really sure why. We won't know until we go back and really dig through the data. We thought the car was pretty similar to Scott's car, but for some reason it wasn't very fast. Up until the crash, Kosuke was doing a great job. This is a great team and, unfortunately, today was not representative of the effort put forth by the entire team."