Allmendinger Captures Coveted Autosport "Rookie of the Year"
Last night in front of the biggest and best names in motorsports, 22 year- old American A.J. Allmendinger was awarded the prestigious Autosport Magazine "Rookie of the Year" title. Sunday evening's black-tie ceremony was held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel and recognizes the highest achievements in international motorsports annually.
"Driving in Champ Cars this year has been a dream come true for me," said Allmendinger. "I've definitely learned a lot this season and everyone at RuSPORT is as dedicated to winning as I am, so we all have one goal-to win. So, with my rookie year done, I plan on contending for wins and the championship next year. I want to thank Carl Russo, my parents, and everyone who supported me. I wouldn't be getting this award without all of them."
This year, the Rookie of the Year award also included nominees Christian Klien (F1), Kasey Kahne (Nextel Cup), Darren Manning (IRL), Rob Huff (BTCC), and Allmendinger's new teammate Justin Wilson (Champ Car). Allmendinger's impressive rookie run with first-year Champ Car team RuSPORT included 11 top-ten starts and 9 top-ten finishes, including two podiums, was recognized with the award.
A.J. is the first American to win the Autosport Rookie of the Year award; past winners have included Juan Pablo Montoya and Jensen Button. Allmendinger will be returning to the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford for his sophomore season with RuSPORT and will be joined by British pilot and fellow nominee Justin Wilson for 2005.