Yasukawa takes experience to the bank in first IRL race. Roger Yasukawa accomplished one of his two goals today - to finish his first IndyCar Series race. Yasukawa, who started 10th for the longest race of his career to date, gained a wealth of...
Yasukawa takes experience to the bank in first IRL race.
Roger Yasukawa accomplished one of his two goals today - to finish his first IndyCar Series race. Yasukawa, who started 10th for the longest race of his career to date, gained a wealth of experience from his IRL debut. Unfortunately, a less than ideal handling race car kept the rookie talent away from his second goal of a top-10 finish.
Roger Yasukawa, Driver - #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"At least we finished, and I am reasonably happy. We had a bit of a struggle with the car's setup and that slowed us down a little bit. We had a lot of push and basically our setup wasn't ideal for the conditions. We tried to make the best of it during the race but obviously it wasn't enough, and I think that was the biggest part as to why we weren't able to finish in the top 10. Having said that, the guys did a great job with the pit stops and I don't think we made any major mistakes. There are a couple of bits and pieces I need to work on but overall we didn't make any mistakes. I have never been out there with 20 cars in the turbulence and that was a totally different experience and something I had to get used to during the first stage. Again, I think that experience is going to be crucial for the next race. It was a good first step. There were a lot of things that I learned today and I will take this experience to Phoenix. It was definitely hot and challenging out there, but I tried to do a lot [of physical preparation] over the winter and I think it paid off."
Tom Anderson, Managing Director:
"I am pleased with our start of the season. I think that reliability was our key today from the standpoint of what we needed to give Roger in terms of experience since he had never seen turbulence or pit stops before. By far this was the longest race he has done in his career. We made a lot of little mistakes but we didn't make any large mistakes and that was the game plan for today - to build our experience here and to start to build the momentum to carry us to further success later in the season.
"All in all, I think it was a tremendous job. The Honda engine was fantastic. We bogged it down several times and were able to come back. Honda has produced a great engine and we were able to make the Firestone tires live better than we expected. It was a little bit cooler than what we anticipated and, from a handling standpoint, we might have been a little bit better off with a hotter day. We have a long list of things to work on and improve before we get to Phoenix and that's exactly what we'll do. I think everybody deserves a compliment for the day. I realize that our result of 14th was not what people were striving for today, but I think you have to forget about the result and look at the fact that he did complete the race and was able to experience the whole day. We completed a tremendous learning curve this afternoon, and I am looking forward to going to Phoenix."
NEXT UP: The Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 23.
For additional information on Super Aguri Fernandez Racing, visit www.superagurifernandezracing.net. Additional information on the IRL IndyCar Series can be found at www.indyracing.com.