St. Pete: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing qualifying report

FORMULA DREAM/PANASONIC DRIVER HIDEKI MUTOH PROGRESSED TO ROUND 2 OF QUALIFYING FOR THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG AND WILL START 12TH OVERVIEW: Hideki Mutoh brushed the inside wall entering Turn 9 in the morning session and made...

FORMULA DREAM/PANASONIC DRIVER HIDEKI MUTOH PROGRESSED TO ROUND 2 OF QUALIFYING FOR THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG AND WILL START 12TH

OVERVIEW: Hideki Mutoh brushed the inside wall entering Turn 9 in the morning session and made contact with the outside wall exiting the turn. The team prepared the back-up car for the qualifying session and, due to the impending start of Group 2, rolled the car to pit lane with Hideki already in the cockpit. Despite the extra pressure and limited time to get settled the team made it to Round 2 and Hideki earned his best starting position in St. Pete of 12th.

Hideki Mutoh, No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "The car was understeering in the morning session and we made a change to improve it. The car was then very 'pointy' on the entry and I had turned into the corner as I had been doing before but the car suddenly turned too much and I brushed the wall in the entry of Turn 9 and made contact with the other wall on exit. It was my mistake. I had been up two-tenths of a second so for sure the Formula Dream/Panasonic car had improved with the change. The guys did a fantastic job to get the backup car ready for qualifying. I thought I wouldn't be able to make it to the session but at the last second I was getting in the car. The car wasn't perfect but still I was able to make it to the next stage in qualifying. I feel so bad for the guys because I think I had a car to finish in the top-six but it just didn't work out. I couldn't put everything that had happened out of my mind today for qualifying. I was watching the guys, and they did a fantastic job but they didn't have time to do everything they wanted to do. They had no time for the alignment and stuff like that and, in the cockpit, the steering wasn't straight. It definitely added some pressure but I saw the effort the guys were making and knew I had to maximize my effort as well."

-source: nhlr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Hideki Mutoh