Matsuura Ready to Continue Learning Curve at Phoenix Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] will make his second IRL IndyCarÂ® Series start this weekend with the Indy 200 Copper World Classic. For Matsuura, who has had four days of testing on the...
Matsuura Ready to Continue Learning Curve at Phoenix
Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] will make his second IRL IndyCar® Series start this weekend with the Indy 200 Copper World Classic. For Matsuura, who has had four days of testing on the one-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), the event brings a welcome familiarity on his fast-paced learning curve.
Matsuura made his IndyCar Series debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finishing 11th in the season-opener. The team, under the direction of race engineer John Dick, has made substantial gains with its Panoz G Force chassis since changing its equipment package late last year. Super Aguri Fernandez Racing team co-owner Adrian Fernandez will also be making his IRL debut at PIR, driving an identical Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone under the Fernandez Racing banner.
Phoenix International Raceway's long history of racing dates back to 1964. The desert oval hosted its first IndyCar Series race in 1996. The circuit was reconfigured in the summer of 2003 with the outward extension of the wall and increased banking in Turn Two, and the addition of the SAFER Barrier between Turns One and Two, and Turns Three and Four.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:
"I am very much looking forward to having Adrian [Fernandez] as a teammate. He has a lot of oval racing experience and this will be a big support to me. I have tested at Phoenix so that will help me, and it also helps to have completed one race now in the IRL. The short course at Phoenix compared to Homestead means that I will be learning a lot of things again, especially with the traffic. I am looking forward to Phoenix. We have this one race left before we go to Motegi, so this will be an important weekend for us."
FAST FACTS: This will be his second IRL IndyCar Series start-- qualified 18th and finished 11th at Homestead-- currently sits 11th in the championship standings 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:
"Phoenix is right now Kosuke's home track. He has had more time on this oval than any other. I believe this will be his fourth time to Phoenix so things will start to become very familiar. I think that we will be able to give him a much better car than when he was there before, and I know Honda has more power for this coming weekend. I was very impressed with Kosuke's drive at Homestead, and look for him to steadily improve starting this weekend at Phoenix."