Matsuura Pleased with Third Row Starting Position Kosuke Matsuura put together a four-lap average of 225.503 mph in WorldPoints Visa Card Qualifying this afternoon to claim a Third Row starting position for the 90th running of the Indianapolis...
Matsuura Pleased with Third Row Starting Position
Kosuke Matsuura put together a four-lap average of 225.503 mph in WorldPoints Visa Card Qualifying this afternoon to claim a Third Row starting position for the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500. This was his career-best qualifying effort to date at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he prepares to make his third Indy 500 start. Matsuura, whose preparations so far this month have been entirely on race day setup, held eighth spot on the speed charts entering Pole Day with a lap of 225.477 mph.
Matsuura, the 2004 Bank One Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, claimed his best result to date at the Speedway of 11th in 2004. The team will resume practice activities tomorrow.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"I think we did a very, very good job. This morning in practice, the car was sliding around a little bit and I had some push. Chris Finch, my engineer, and the mechanics did a great job to fix this and give me a good car. I think it was a good run for me. I was flat all the way around and didn't make any mistakes. This is our best qualifying result here. We are new to the Dallara chassis this year and we are still learning, so a Third Row start is very good. We should be happy. Maybe next year, we can fight for the Front Row. Right now, I think we have a great car and I am looking forward to working on our race setup some more tomorrow."
KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: Will be preparing for his third Indianapolis 500 start and 37th IndyCar Series start... has qualified in the top 10 in two previous 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 11th 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 14th 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.
Tom Anderson, Managing Director:
"It was a very good day for the Panasonic team. I think Kosuke did a great job. We were off the mark a little bit yesterday, but got back on it later in the day and held it this morning. All in all, I'm quite happy with Kosuke's position. It is going to be a very competitive race. From the majority of the time we have had during the rain-shortened practice sessions, I think we do have a pretty good race car and a lot of that transferred into his consistency in his qualifying run. I'm very pleased with his performance so far this month."