IRL: Pikes Peak: SAFR, Matsuura Saturday report

Matsuura at Back of Grid After Practice Crash/Qualifying Rain Out Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] will make his first start at Pikes Peak International Raceway from the back of the grid after a crash during the second practice session in ...

Matsuura at Back of Grid After Practice Crash/Qualifying Rain Out Kosuke Matsuura [Kohs-kay Mat-sur-ah] will make his first start at Pikes Peak International Raceway from the back of the grid after a crash during the second practice session in preparation for tomorrow's Honda Indy 225. Matsuura spun going into Turn Three, making heavy contact with the outside wall. He was uninjured and has been cleared to drive.

With MBNA Pole Qualifying cancelled due to rain, Matsuura was slated to start 14th based upon combined practice times. However, Matsuura will need to transfer to the #55 Panasonic back-up car for tomorrow's race which, per IRL IndyCar Series regulations, requires him to start at the back of the grid.

Weather: For the start of the first 30-minute practice sessions, temperatures at 67 F under sunny skies with winds out of the southeast at six mph; temperatures at 71 F with winds at six mph out of the south for the second round of 45-minute practice sessions; light rain began to fall at 3:10 pm MT, 20 minutes prior to the start of MBNA Pole Qualifying.

Practice Recap: Matsuura claimed the 11th-quickest time overall of the two 30-minute morning sessions, with a best lap of 21.2698 169.254 mph; Matsuura completed four laps in the afternoon session prior to his accident in Turn Three.

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

"This morning I had a neutral car after 20 laps on the tires. For the second session, we were working on the stability of the rear of the car. After four laps, I spun. I don't know why I spun in Turn Three because I think this is the easiest corner. There is a new patch in Turn One which makes it very difficult, and the exit of Turn Four is difficult as well. It is a shame. There wasn't anything wrong on the car, so I'm very confused. I feel okay, just my left shoulder is sore but I can drive tomorrow for sure. The race is going to be very difficult because it might be very hot, and hot means you lose a lot of downforce."

FAST FACTS: Will be making his 12th IRL IndyCar Series career start-- recorded IndyCar Series career-best finish of fourth last weekend in Kentucky-- currently leads Bombardier Rookie of the Year standings by 45 points-- recorded his career-best starting position of second at Michigan three weeks ago-- best finish on a one-mile oval was 10th in Milwaukee-- best starting position on a one-mile oval was 10th in Phoenix-- has finished 11th or better in seven of 11 IndyCar Series starts-- currently sits 13th in the championship point standings-- 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 difficult situation today, but that's part of racing at times. We'll take a step backwards at the moment. Had the rain held off, we were not going to qualify this afternoon any way since we haven't had a chance to run our back-up car yet. We will start from the back of the grid tomorrow after we have had a chance to run the race warm-up with the back-up car. With the large impact that we had today, it would not have been a wise idea to have the next session be qualifying, so we would have taken a conservative approach here and started again tomorrow."

-safr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tom Anderson , Kosuke Matsuura , Aguri Suzuki