Matsuura Second Quick as Practice Resumes at Indy Weather: Overcast and 70 F with winds out of the east at 6 mph when the track opened for practice; 76F, mostly cloudy with variable winds at 6 mph in the early afternoon; temperatures warming to...
Matsuura Second Quick as Practice Resumes at Indy
Weather: Overcast and 70 F with winds out of the east at 6 mph when the track opened for practice; 76F, mostly cloudy with variable winds at 6 mph in the early afternoon; temperatures warming to low 80s in the afternoon under sunny skies; completely overcast with winds picking up and temperatures in the upper 70s late afternoon.
Practice Summary: Matsuura went out at 11:20 am, setting the third fastest time of the morning on his 17th lap with a 217.804 mph; Matsuura improved to a best lap of 218.052 mph before returning to the garage for setup changes; Matsuura returned to the track at 2:00 pm, recording his best lap of the day, a 219.417 mph, on Lap 109 of 112 total; the team ended practice at 3:55 pm.
The #55 Panasonic ARTA team participated in the Indianapolis 500® Mile Race Pit Stop Time Trials this morning and, after setting the second-fastest pit stop time of the seven teams that were present, have qualified for the Checkers/Rally's Pit Stop Challenge to be held on Carburetion Day, May 27. This morning's time trials filled the remaining two openings in the challenge, which features 12 entrants.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"This was the first time that I ran with full tanks so far. At the beginning, my car had a big push in almost every corner; even Turn Four was difficult. We went back to the setup from Saturday and my car was getting much better than when I ran this morning. We ended up with a completely different setup than this morning and the car had a very good balance. Today I drove runs more than 20 laps a couple of times, getting used to long runs and also drafting and the car doesn't seem too bad. I need more experience to close somebody from behind. It was a very good start after the qualifying."
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.
Tom Anderson, Managing Director:
"The month of May continues as we start our race preparation now. Kosuke ran some full loads today, and over 250 miles total. He had a lot of different traffic situations with slow groups of cars and faster groups of cars, so it was very good to run in all the traffic. By the time we finished for the day, I think we had a good baseline setup that we want to start polishing this week. It looks like we may see some weather here again in Indy over the next few days, but I'm very pleased with the starting race setup and looking forward to working on that. I want to congratulate Kosuke and the pit stop crew for qualifying for the pit stop competition on Carb Day. This is the first time Super Aguri Fernandez Racing has made it into that so I'm very pleased for those guys and look forward to the entertainment on Carburetion Day."