IRL: Homestead: Kosuke Matsuura qualifying report

Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] had his first look at single-car qualifying this afternoon with IRL IndyCar® Series MBNA Pole Qualifying for tomorrow's Toyota Indy 300. Matsuura's fastest lap of 25.1456 seconds (212.602 mph) around the ...

Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] had his first look at single-car qualifying this afternoon with IRL IndyCar® Series MBNA Pole Qualifying for tomorrow's Toyota Indy 300. Matsuura's fastest lap of 25.1456 seconds (212.602 mph) around the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway oval secured the 18th spot on the grid for the #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone as Matsuura prepares to make his IndyCar Series debut. Fellow Honda-powered driver Buddy Rice will start on pole in the second-closest qualifying field in IndyCar Series history with just 0.5790 seconds separating the 19 qualifiers.

Sunday's 200-lap race will be broadcast live on ESPN, the IMS Radio Network and www.indyracing.com beginning at 2:00 pm ET.

Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"I am glad I was able to finish my first qualifying run without any problem. I am not satisfied with my starting position, but we were able to realize where we stand now amongst the other cars so I think today was very meaningful. The season has just begun so we will do our best and hope we will be able to do well tomorrow."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his first career IRL IndyCar Series start-- 24 years old from Aichi, Japan-- began his career in karts at the age of 14-- finished third in the 2003 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup-- finished second in the 2002 German Formula 3 Championship-- won the 2000 Japanese Formula Dream Series Championship before heading to Europe in 2001 to compete in German F3-- has been a member of Co-Owner Aguri Suzuki's ARTA (Autobacs Racing Team Aguri) driver development project since 1998 after climbing up the Japanese karting ranks--currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Tom Anderson, Managing Director:
"The first qualifying session of the new season is in the record books. With the G Force/Honda on pole, we believe we have made the right chassis-engine combination, so I think it is a matter of us taking the information and learning from it. It was obviously a new experience for Kosuke and the team with G Force, so we need to keep on learning. We didn't have a very good setup today, and it was different from what we ran in the practice session on Friday afternoon. We will work on reproducing that setup for the race so we should be able to do well tomorrow."

Toyota Indy 300 On-Track Schedule:
Sunday, February 29
Warm Up 10:00 am -- 10:30 am
Race 2:00 pm

-safr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Rice , Tom Anderson , Kosuke Matsuura , Aguri Suzuki