IRL: St. Pete: SAFR, Matsuura Friday report

Matsuura Eight-Fastest on Streets of St. Petersburg Kosuke Matsuura returned to his road-racing roots today as opening practice activities were underway for the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the first non-oval event in IRL ...

Matsuura Eight-Fastest on Streets of St. Petersburg

Kosuke Matsuura returned to his road-racing roots today as opening practice activities were underway for the inaugural Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the first non-oval event in IRL IndyCar® Series history. Matsuura ended the day eighth overall, after posting the 10th fastest time in the two-hour morning session and the eighth quickest lap this afternoon in the final 30-minute session on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary circuit.

Marlboro Pole Award qualifying featuring the Firestone "Fast Six" will be held tomorrow.

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

"The practice times today determined your qualifying position tomorrow so we put a new set of tires on at the end [of the practice session] to go for a good time. I made a 64.0 (seconds) which was pretty good. After that, I was on a better lap when the yellow flag came out at the end. I think if the yellow didn't happen, I would have finished around fourth today. The car potential is pretty good, and I am looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.

"My background is road-course racing and I also have had experience with city circuits. I was so excited when I arrived in St. Petersburg yesterday. I was checking everything -- seat position, helmet, everything -- and spent a long time discussing things with the engineers and mechanics. I am so excited for the race."

-safr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Kosuke Matsuura