Matsuura to Start Fourth at Indy Japan 300 Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] claimed his best qualifying position to date in his first year of IRL IndyCar Series competition, securing a spot on the second row of the grid for the Indy Japan...
Matsuura to Start Fourth at Indy Japan 300
Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] claimed his best qualifying position to date in his first year of IRL IndyCar Series competition, securing a spot on the second row of the grid for the Indy Japan 300. Matsuura's best lap of 26.6110 seconds (205.629 mph) aboard the #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone was only .0172 seconds off the pole winning time set by fellow Honda-powered driver Dan Wheldon.
Matsuura has claimed 11th-place finishes in his two IndyCar Series starts to date. He currently sits 13th in the point standings, just six points shy of the top 10, and leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year chase.
The Indy Japan 300 will be broadcast live from the Twin Ring Motegi circuit on ESPN2 beginning at 11:30 pm ET on Friday, April 16.
Note: This is the best starting position for Super Aguri Fernandez Racing since the team entered IRL IndyCar Series competition in 2003.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"I am very happy. I want to say thanks for my engineer [John Dick] and Adrian [Fernandez] who helped me a lot. My team has a lot of motivation and I am looking forward to a good result tomorrow. Each session, my car was improving and I have a good car for the race. For tomorrow, I want to finish first and, if I can't, I want to finish in the top three."
FAST FACTS: This will be his third IRL IndyCar Series start-- finished 11th at both Homestead and Phoenix-- best qualifying prior to today was 10th in Phoenix-- currently sits 13th in the championship standings, just six points out of the top 10, and leads the Bombardier Rookie of the Year chase-- 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:
"It was a tremendous job by Kosuke and the Panasonic team today. Kosuke was able to get his brake pressure right on his two qualifying laps. John Dick, our engineer, put a great setup on and freed the car up a bit from this morning and capitalized on the power of the Honda. Obviously Honda has made some tremendous gains here, taking the top five qualifying positions. A great effort all around and we look forward to tomorrow."