CART Ladder System news 2003-06-14

Champ Car Ladder News - RuSPORT to provide CART Toyota Atlantic Championship test for 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series champion. MONTEREY, Calif. (June 14, 2003) - Officials from the Champ Car Ladder System and Skip Barber Racing School, LLC ...

Champ Car Ladder News - RuSPORT to provide CART Toyota Atlantic Championship test for 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series champion.

MONTEREY, Calif. (June 14, 2003) - Officials from the Champ Car Ladder System and Skip Barber Racing School, LLC announced today that RuSPORT-which currently fields two cars in the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship-will provide a two-day test to the driver who wins the Barber Dodge Pro Series championship for the next three seasons, beginning at the conclusion of the 2003 racing season.

The inclusion of this test caps off what is already a substantial package for the champion of the Barber Dodge Pro Series. The driver who wins the title will also receive a $100,000 Barber-Champ Car Career Enhancement Award that is designed to help the champion driver move into Toyota Atlantic, which is part of the Skip Barber organization's overall Barber-Champ Car Scholarship program that awards more than $1 million annually in scholarships to drivers throughout the series on the Champ Car Ladder.

"I sincerely want to thank RuSPORT for stepping forward and providing this tremendous opportunity for the Barber Dodge Pro Series champion," said CART Champ Car President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "I am impressed by the team's consideration of the Champ Car Ladder System, and I am confident that these tests will go a long way in helping Barber Dodge Pro Series champions move to the next level into Toyota Atlantic. As we have seen this year with young Allmendinger, the Barber Dodge Pro Series does a wonderful job in preparing drivers for the next step on the ladder, and I believe that we will see A.J. take the final step up the ladder into Champ Car in the near future."

Among the drivers who have benefited from these scholarships are Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford rookie Ryan Hunter-Reay and Toyota Atlantic rookie A.J. Allmendinger. In addition to Allmendinger, the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series champion, Canadian Michael Valiante and rookie Danica Patrick are also among the Barber Dodge graduates that have advanced to the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship.

"This test is an excellent addition to the current structure of scholarships already in place in the Barber-Champ Car Scholarship program that help young talented drivers ascend into the Champ Car World Series," said Stu Upson, Skip Barber Racing Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "It is a great opportunity to have several parties working together to contribute to the success of these young drivers. This test is also an example of the Skip Barber Racing School's long-standing philiosophy of providing opportunities for drivers who participate in the Champ Car Ladder System to move up, the same way Ryan Hunter-Reay and A.J. Allmendinger have done."

Each test will be scheduled for two days to enable the Barber Dodge Pro Series champion the opportunity to become familiar with and comfortable in the car. The tests will also give RuSPORT the opportunity to evaluate the drivers' performance on the track, as well as the drivers' ability to provide accurate feedback. While the tests will not guarantee the drivers a ride in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, two days of testing will be beneficial to the drivers as they look for an opportunity to take the next step on the Champ Car Ladder. While RuSPORT is administering the test, the drivers will not be contractually bound to the team.

"In our short time together, the members of RuSPORT have been consummate professionals and it is truly a pleasure to have the team in our series," said Vicki O'Connor, CART Toyota Atlantic Championship president. "I'm extremely pleased that RuSPORT will provide the champion of the Barber Dodge Pro Series with a test, and I feel that this will be invaluable to the drivers who win the Barber Dodge title in their efforts to move up. Certainly, A.J. Allmendinger has already proven this season that Barber Dodge does a fantastic job in preparing drivers to advance to the next level, and I look forward to welcoming future champions of the Barber Dodge Pro Series to Toyota Atlantic for many years to come."

RuSPORT is in its first season of CART Toyota Atlantic Championship competition in 2003, and is fielding a two-car program for Allmendinger and rookie Aaron Justus. Allmendinger currently leads the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship point standings on the strength of a victory in the Argent Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and a third place finish in the Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite. Justus currently stands third in the championship standings with three top-five finishes in three starts, highlighted by a second place run at Long Beach.

"Everyone within RuSPORT has a profound belief in the strength and resolve of the Champ Car Ladder System," said RuSPORT President Jeremy Dale. "Giving the Barber Dodge champions a guaranteed opportunity to test in one of our cars is in the spirit of cooperation to further strengthen the Champ Car Ladder."

The test will be made possible in part by the participation of several CART Toyota Atlantic partners including Toyota, TRD, Yokohama, BG Products and Bosch. Toyota and TRD will supply selected motor parts while Yokohama will contribute tires as well as lend technical support. BG Products has graciously agreed to cover travel costs for the Barber Dodge Champion as well offer product support in the form of lubricants and cleaners for both the RuSPORT Swift 014 as well as the team transporters. Bosch as well will offer a credit toward its products that are standard equipment on the Swift 014 including spark plugs, injectors and fuel pumps.

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Champ Car also sanctions the Barber Dodge Pro Series as part of a marketing partnership with Skip Barber, LLC and the Pro Series serves as the Official Entry Level Professional Race Series of Champ Car. For more information about the Champ Car Ladder System, log onto www.champcarworldseries.com and click on the respective links to the Toyota Atlantic Championship, Barber Dodge Pro Series, Formula Dodge National Championship and Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow.

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About this article
Series Atlantic , Barber Pro
Drivers Michael Valiante , Ryan Hunter-Reay , A.J. Allmendinger , Skip Barber , Aaron Justus , Danica Patrick