Long, Tough Day for Matsuura at Indy Kosuke Matsuura persevered to a 15-place finish today in the 90 th Indianapolis 500. Matsuura fought handling issues throughout the 200-lap race, but managed to bring the ...
Long, Tough Day for Matsuura at Indy
Kosuke Matsuura persevered to a 15-place finish today in the 90 th Indianapolis 500. Matsuura fought handling issues throughout the 200-lap race, but managed to bring the #55 Panasonic ARTA car home in the end in his third appearance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Dallara/Honda/Firestone:
"It was so difficult. I didn't expect this car today. It was bad. At the start, the handling of my car was pretty good for the first five laps then the car had just no grip at all. At some points the car was neutral, and at other points I had a massive understeer. It was hard to trust what was going on. Staying on the track was my main job. The #55 crew did an awesome job this month. We just lost a few setup things today. There are still 10 races left, and I'm looking forward to the Watkins Glen race next weekend."
KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: This was his third Indianapolis 500 start and 37 th IndyCar Series start... was 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)... is in his third season of IndyCar Series competition... 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.
Chris Finch, Race Engineer:
"It was a long race for us today. It was very, very hot and we were running in conditions we had not run in all month. It caught us out a little bit. I knew going in that it was going to be tough for everyone involved. I thought everyone was going to have to deal with a car that wasn't going to be nice and that you needed to keep tuning until the end. The guys did a really great job to stay on their toes and get pit stops done unexpectedly. We missed a little bit on downforce, so we added some during the race but that only helped marginally. The conditions were tough and you had to make the right calls not only on the race track but in the pits, and you had to constantly adapt the car to the conditions at hand. For a couple of stints we did that but towards the latter half of the race, we kind of missed a little bit. With as few yellows as there were, we were caught behind right there at the start and there weren't enough yellows to make it up."