IRL: Homestead: Kosuke Matsuura preview

Matsuura Motivated for IRL IndyCar® Series Season-Opener The IRL IndyCar Series returns to action this weekend with Sunday's season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As the series embarks on its 10th year of competition,...

Matsuura Motivated for IRL IndyCar® Series Season-Opener

The IRL IndyCar Series returns to action this weekend with Sunday's season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As the series embarks on its 10th year of competition, Kosuke Matsuura returns for his sophomore season looking to translate experience into results and challenge for his first IndyCar Series win.

Hailing from an all-road racing background, Matsuura made his U.S. racing debut at Homestead last year, finishing 11th in his first-ever oval race. It was a season dominated by new experiences for the Aichi, Japan, native. In addition to learning a new form of racing, new team and unfamiliar circuits, Matsuura was also adapting to a new lifestyle in the United States.

As he prepares for his 17th IndyCar Series start this weekend, Matsuura carries confidence from a year's experience in the series and a successful pre-season test in January on the 1.5-mile oval which saw the 25-year-old claim the fourth-quickest time overall.

* Will be making his second IndyCar Series appearance at Homestead and his 17th career race start
* Started 18th and finished 11th at Homestead last year
* Recorded IndyCar Series career-best finish of fourth at Kentucky
* Claimed best IndyCar Series starting position of second at Michigan
* Earned 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors
* Named Indianapolis 500 Bank One Rookie of the Year with an 11th-place finish

Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone:
"I am very excited to return to Homestead and start the 2005 season. I learned a lot last year, and I am confident that I can do better and get a good result. I wasn't able to win a race last season, and that is my goal. I was able to concentrate on my physical training during the off-season and I feel really good about my condition now. I can't wait to start racing."

KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: Enters his second season of IndyCar Series competition-- is the 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year-- also earned Bank One Rookie of the Year honors 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-- 25 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.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Kosuke Matsuura