Matsuura Nets Eighth Fastest Time in Homestead Open Test Kosuke Matsuura returned to the cockpit of the ...
Matsuura Nets Eighth Fastest Time in Homestead Open Test
Kosuke Matsuura returned to the cockpit of the #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone machine as the first Open Test of the 2005 IRL IndyCar® season was underway at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In preparation for the addition of three road/street course venues this season, IndyCar Series teams took to the 2.21-mile road course in Homestead for a two-day test which concluded this afternoon. It was the first time that many teams and drivers were afforded first-hand experience with the new road course chassis packages for 2005.
With a predominantly road course background, the test marked a return to familiar stomping ground for Matsuura. The 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year had his only experience with oval racing last year in his debut season in the IndyCar Series.
Matsuura set the eighth fastest time of the 19 drivers on hand for the road course test. Matsuura was sidelined for most of the afternoon session yesterday with a gearbox problem, completing only 36 laps for the day. He rebounded on Day Two, logging 106 laps and improving on his previous best time by 1.24 seconds.
The series will move to the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval on Saturday in preparation for the season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 6.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone:
"This was our first road course test, and this was my first time to drive since last year. I think the team did a great job over these two days. We added Simon Hodgson as team manager, and he is working out very well and I feel very good with him. The first day, we had a few problems to fix, but the second day we did a lot of runs and I was seventh in the afternoon session. I am not worried about the time right now. The car feels much better than yesterday and we have a lot of data. This will be helpful for the first race, and I have a lot of confidence to race on the road courses."
KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: Enters his second season of IndyCar Series competition-- is the 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year-- also earned Bank One Rookie of the Year honors at the Indianapolis 500-- recorded his IndyCar Series career-best finish of fourth at Kentucky Speedway last season, and claimed his career-best starting position of second at Michigan-- 25 years old from Aichi, Japan-- currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Super Aguri Fernandez Racing was formed in December of 2002 by ex-Formula One driver Aguri Suzuki (The Super Aguri Company) and Mexican driving talent Adrian Fernandez (Fernandez Racing). The team entered IRL IndyCar® Series competition in 2003, and currently contests the #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone for Japanese talent Kosuke Matsuura under the direction of Tom Anderson, managing director. Super Aguri Fernandez Racing is the sister team of Delphi Fernandez Racing which fields IndyCar Series veteran Scott Sharp (#8 Delphi Panoz/Honda/Firestone).