CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: RuSPORT preview

This weekend's Grand Prix of Long Beach will be especially significant to the RuSPORT team. Not only will RuSPORT be making its Champ Car World Series debut, but Long Beach was the site of the team's first win last year in the Toyota Atlantic ...

This weekend's Grand Prix of Long Beach will be especially significant to the RuSPORT team. Not only will RuSPORT be making its Champ Car World Series debut, but Long Beach was the site of the team's first win last year in the Toyota Atlantic Series. In 2003 RuSPORT brought both rookie drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Aaron Justus across the finish line in a dominating 1-2 finish before going on to clinch the Atlantic Series Championship.

* Veteran Champ Car driver Michel Jourdain Jr. also makes his debut this weekend with the RuSPORT crew and is looking to settle some unfinished business here in Long Beach. Last year, Jourdain captured the Grand Prix of Long Beach pole then nearly garnered the win before a broken gearbox dashed the checkers with just seven laps to go.

* A.J. can count on Michel for more than advice on the track this weekend. As A.J. deals with the pressures of making his Champ Car debut at the prestigious Grand Prix of Long Beach, he can look to his new teammate for pointers here as well. Jourdain made his own Champ Car debut here in Long Beach in 1996, becoming the youngest Champ Car driver ever at the age of 19 years, 7 months and 12 days.

* Although there are many new faces this season at RuSPORT, most of the original crew returns as the team tackles is biggest challenge to date in stepping up to this premiere level of open-wheel racing. Leading the organization are, again, team owner Carl Russo, team president Jeremy Dale, and operations director Steve Wulff.

* Allmendinger can count Long Beach as one of his "home" races, as the 22 year-old grew up in Hollister, CA, where his family still resides.

-rusport-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers A.J. Allmendinger , Carl Russo , Michel Jourdain