Matsuura Claims Seventh at Texas Kosuke Matsuura claimed his best finish to date in the 2005 IndyCar Series season this evening, bringing the ...
Matsuura Claims Seventh at Texas
Kosuke Matsuura claimed his best finish to date in the 2005 IndyCar Series season this evening, bringing the #55 Panasonic machine home to seventh place in the Bombardier Learjet 500. Matsuura, who qualified 14th, moved into to the top 10 by the quarter mark of the 200-lap race. He was shown in fourth position when he entered the pits for his final stop on Lap 168, but fell to 12th after encountering traffic on pit lane. As a result Matsuura lost contact with the lead pack and was unable to challenge the front-runners.
Kosuke Matsuura, #55 Panasonic ARTA Panoz/Honda/Firestone:
"It was an outstanding race for us. Except for the last pit stop, our strategy, our car, our setup, just everything was perfect. On the last pit stop when I entered the pit lane, there was another car in front of me and I lost of couple of seconds there. On the out lap, I lost front wheel grip and nearly went onto the race track. It was really scary. The car was really good for the last stint. On the last lap, I was in sixth place but Dan Wheldon was a little bit quicker than me so I had to give up a position. I think we did a great race, and I am looking forward to Richmond."
KOSUKE MATSUURA FAST FACTS: This was his third appearance at Texas-- was sidelined from finishing both 2004 Texas events due to mechanical problems (electrical and gearbox)-- led the first laps of his IndyCar Series career at Texas last June-- this was his 22nd IndyCar Series career start-- best starting position to date this season was seventh in St. Petersburg-- best finish to date this season was ninth in Japan-- is in his second season of IndyCar Series competition-- earned 2004 Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors-- named Bank One Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500-- recorded his IndyCar Series career-best finish of fourth at Kentucky Speedway last season, and claimed his career-best starting position of second at Michigan-- 25 years old from Aichi, Japan-- finished third in the 2003 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup Championship with three wins and eight podiums-- finished second in German F3 competition in 2002 with two wins and six pole positions-- won the 2000 Japanese Formula Dream Championship with six wins and eight pole positions-- currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Tom Anderson, Managing Director:
"Kosuke drove the best race of his career tonight. He brought the Panasonic car from the back to the front and stayed with the lead pack. Due to some traffic right before our last stop, we lost about five seconds coming into the pits which was just enough to put us out of the lead pack. In high-banked racing, once you break away from the pack it is really hard to catch up and we weren't able to do it. Seventh-place and with the way Kosuke drove all night, it is a fantastic result for everyone here on the Panasonic side. Scott [Sharp] took the Delphi car to a fourth-place position and I am really proud of that run. He was right there all night. Great run on the Firestone tires. They did everything we asked of them tonight. The Hondas were strong enough. We just couldn't position ourselves right to get the lead. They had a strong motor tonight but we just couldn't take advantage of it."