Matsuura Ends the Day Seventh Quickest as Pole Day Looms Weather: At the start of practice, 12:00 pm, 63Âº F under sunny skies with northwest winds at 13 mph. At 2:00 pm, temperatures increasing to 66Âº F under partly cloudy skies with ...
Matsuura Ends the Day Seventh Quickest as Pole Day Looms
Weather: At the start of practice, 12:00 pm, 63º F under sunny skies with northwest winds at 13 mph. At 2:00 pm, temperatures increasing to 66º F under partly cloudy skies with west-northwest winds at 8 mph. Temperatures rise to 67º F at 4:00 pm with 13 mph winds out of the west. At the start of Happy Hour (5:00 pm), overcast skies and 65º F with 7 mph west-northwest winds. Light moisture reported at 5:30 pm.
Practice Summary: Matsuura went out for his first practice run at 12:00 pm. At 1:00 pm, he is shown 13 th quickest with a speed of 220.840 mph after 17 laps. The team returned to the garage at 2:15 pm to make changes. Matsuura returned to the track at 3:45 pm, and improved to a lap of 223.057 mph. He returned to the garage for additional changes at 4:05 pm. Matsuura took to the track for his final run of the day at 4:45 pm in qualifying trim. He quickly jumped to a best lap of 225.447 mph and was shown fifth quickest. The team returned to the garage at 5:20 pm.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I think the engineers and mechanics did a really good job. Early this afternoon, we worked a little bit more on our race setup. After 4:30, we trimmed out to do some qualifying simulations. The car felt very, very comfortable and that gave me a lot of confidence. I don't think qualifying will be a problem for us. I think we will be able to finish in the top 10 pretty easily. Penske and Ganassi are definitely ahead of everybody, but we finished the day sixth and seventh and were the third quickest team up until the final minutes of practice when Tony [Kanaan] got a good lap in."
KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: Will be preparing for his third Indianapolis 500 start and 37 th IndyCar Series start... has qualified in the top 10 in two starts at Indy -- eighth last year and ninth in 2004... was running seventh with 25 laps to go in the race last year when he was eliminated by contact... finished 11 th in 2004, the highest finishing rookie.. named the 2004 Bank One Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and American Dairy Assn. of Indiana Fastest Rookie of the Year... is one of only six Japanese drivers to have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Tora Takagi, Hiro Matsushita, Hideshi Matsuda, Shigeaki Hattori and Shinji Nakano)... best finish by a Japanese driver to date was fifth (Takagi in 2003)... enters his third season of IndyCar Series competition and is currently sixth in the championship standings with three top-seven results to date ... earned 2004 IndyCar Series Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors... finished 14 th in the 2005 IndyCar Series championship after a season plagued by misfortune including eight DNF's (did not finish) in 17 starts... ended season with seven top-10 finishes... recorded IndyCar Series career-best results at Kentucky with a fourth-place finish and Michigan with a second-place starting position 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.