IRL: Phoenix: Kosuke Matsuura race report

Matsuura Finishes 11th at Phoenix Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] continued his IRL IndyCar® series learning curve with an 11th-place finish today in the Indy 200 Copper World Classic. Matsuura, who qualified 10th on the one-mile at ...

Matsuura Finishes 11th at Phoenix

Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] continued his IRL IndyCar® series learning curve with an 11th-place finish today in the Indy 200 Copper World Classic. Matsuura, who qualified 10th on the one-mile at Phoenix International Raceway, has increased his lead in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year chase and currently sits 13th in the point standings.

Next up: The IRL IndyCar Series will head to Japan for the Indy Japan 300 on April 17.

Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone:

"I don't think I did well today, but I was very satisfied with the first two stints before I brushed the wall. I was able to practice the draft but there were a lot of times where I almost crashed and was unstable. When I brushed the wall, I went outside too much and it was my fault. It was nice that Mr. Suzuki told me to just go out there and do my best. I was happy with the last 10 laps but I was not happy that I couldn't move up front into a better position. I had no problems physically; I am okay and not dehydrated at all. I hope to do better in the next race, and I know I can."

FAST FACTS: This was his second IRL IndyCar Series start-- qualified 18th and finished 11th at Homestead-- 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:

"Racing at the Phoenix oval is always a unique situation. Sometimes you get to deal with heat, sometimes wind. Today Kosuke, in his first time at Phoenix, got to deal with both so the track was ever changing -- sort of like the ocean as the waves are different, the corners became different throughout the race. I think he did an extremely good job to hang on to it. He ran very close with people throughout the day. He was held up in traffic sometimes, and maybe gave up a little bit too much under braking to be extra cautious which is one of the things you need to do sometimes at Phoenix. The race track is tight and doesn't allow for side-by-side racing all around, so you have to pick and chose your lanes very selectively. It was a big learning curve today. We had a clean run and no major problems, and a gained a wealth of experience. Now Motegi will look extra wide. All and all, it was a good day for Kosuke and for the whole Panasonic team. This moves us ahead again in the rookie points and we are very pleased about that. Congratulations to Honda on their win today."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tom Anderson , Kosuke Matsuura , Aguri Suzuki