Matsuura Ends Indy Open Test Ninth Fastest INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 29, 2004) -- Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] continued to impress in his IRL IndyCar Â® Series track debut at the historic Brickyard, posting the ninth fastest time...
Matsuura Ends Indy Open Test Ninth Fastest
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 29, 2004) -- Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] continued to impress in his IRL IndyCar ® Series track debut at the historic Brickyard, posting the ninth fastest time overall during a two-day Open Test which concluded today.
Twenty-six drivers took to the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30. Matsuura was the quickest of the Honda-powered brigade yesterday, and was sixth-fastest in both practice sessions today to land a spot in the top 10 overall practice times as drivers battled breezy conditions with southwest winds averaging 16 to 21 mph.
Matsuura, who pilots the #55 Panasonic ARTA entry, leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings and sits 10th in the championship points after three rounds of IndyCar Series competition. He completed the mandatory Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) required to compete in the Indy 500 on Monday.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway will open for official practice on Sunday, May 9.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"The test was pretty good. I want to thank John Dick [race engineer] and all the mechanics. They did a very good job these two days, and we found a very good way to go for the setup. It was windy today but not as windy as yesterday. I am happy to be in the top 10 in the times, and the next step is top five and then to finish in the top three. I am very happy and looking forward to next month."
Tom Anderson, Managing Director:
"It was a perfect test for Kosuke -- no problems, and we continued to build through all three days running two mph quicker each day with his top speed being 218 mph which he did alone. I am very pleased with his progress and couldn't have asked for more. It was a perfect test for the Panasonic team. Honda is doing a great job with the new 3.0-liter engine. We are also very pleased with the new Firestone tire. The Firestone tire is going to run way past the fuel window [during the race] so they have obviously done their job quite well. I think we are right where we need to be for the start of May."