RuSPORT To Enter 2004 Champ Car World Series Capitalizing on winning the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship in its first attempt, RSPORT is pleased to announce its entry into the 2004 Champ Car World Series with American driver A.J. Allmendinger.
RuSPORT To Enter 2004 Champ Car World Series
Capitalizing on winning the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship in its first attempt, RSPORT is pleased to announce its entry into the 2004 Champ Car World Series with American driver A.J. Allmendinger. The focus will be on a one-car Ford- Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone effort, with an eye toward returning to a two-car team in 2005.
"After accomplishing many of the goals we set for ourselves as a Toyota Atlantic team," explained owner Carl Russo, "we took the time to weigh our options carefully over the last few months. We have decided that now is the time for RSPORT to step up and compete at the highest level. We believe in the viability of the Champ Car World Series and its fans, and we are convinced that it will ultimately provide the best return for our partners and the best competition for our driver and crew."
"Everyone in open-wheel racing has followed A.J.'s career very closely for a number of years and we are eager to see what he does with his opportunity to compete in the top level of the sport," said OWRS co-owner Paul Gentilozzi. "A.J. and the RuSPORT team's dominance in the Toyota Atlantic Championship last year showed their limitless potential and we expect A.J. and RuSPORT to be a key component of the Champ Car World Series for many years to come."
While the finishing touches for a successful progression are being put in place, RSPORT realizes the complexity of the task at hand.
"To put a competitive car on the Champ Car grid for 2004 is definitely going to be one of the biggest hurdles RSPORT will face," added team president Jeremy Dale, "but I'm confident that we have a solid foundation in the extremely dedicated group of people we have at RSPORT. The team did a phenomenal job gelling last year and that, too, helped solidify our decision to move forward."
Allmendinger, 21 of Hollister, Calif., who now resides near the team's base in Loveland, Colo., will enter his rookie Champ Car season on the strength of capturing consecutive titles in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and Toyota Atlantic Championship. En route to both of those titles, Allmendinger set, or tied, numerous records including Gilles Villeneuve's 27 year-old record for poles in a season with nine.
"This announcement just completes what has already been a year of dreams come true for me," said Allmendinger. "First I had just an unbelievable year in the Toyota Atlantic Series, then winning the championship, and now this. I can't wait to get started, and for me to get into a Champ Car this year shows that the Champ Car Ladder System can work with the support of people like Carl Russo."