Matsuura Quickest in Indy 500 Final Practice Weather: 74 F under mostly cloudy skies with winds out of the southwest at 17 mph; 60% chance of rain. Matsuura Indianapolis 500 Notes: * Kosuke Matsuura pronounced Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah *...
Matsuura Quickest in Indy 500 Final Practice
Weather: 74 F under mostly cloudy skies with winds out of the southwest at 17 mph; 60% chance of rain.
Matsuura Indianapolis 500 Notes:
* Kosuke Matsuura pronounced Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah
* Matsuura will be starting ninth, the best starting position of the eight rookies in the field
* Matsuura was the first Japanese driver to win the Fastest Rookie of the Year Award presented by the American Dairy Association of Indiana; the award, in its 30th year, acknowledges the fastest first-year driver in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500
* This will be his fourth IRL IndyCar Series start
* Matsuura currently sits 10th in the standings and leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year points
* Matsuura is one of only five Japanese drivers to compete in the Indianapolis 500 (Tora Takagi, Hiro Matsushita, Hideshi Matsuda, Shigeaki Hattori, Shinji Nakano)
* The best finish by a Japanese driver to date was fifth (Tora Takagi in 2003)
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"It was a very, very good test. This whole month, my team, my mechanics did a very good job and the car seems to be very good - both cars, me and Adrian. The car is very fast and for drafting, the car has a very good balance. Everything is perfect. Next we have to think on pit stop strategy and race strategy. I am ready for the race and I am very confident."
FAST FACTS: Qualified ninth for the Indianapolis 500-- this will be his fourth IRL IndyCar Series start-- currently leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings and sits 10th in the championship points -- posted IRL career-best qualifying effort of fourth and best finish-to-date of eighth at the last race held in Japan-- 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.