CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: RuSPORT preview

* The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach holds special significance for RuSPORT. The event has been the site of many team firsts, including the first RuSPORT open-wheel victory when A.J. Allmendinger led the team to a RuSPORT 1-2 in the Toyota...

* The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach holds special significance for RuSPORT. The event has been the site of many team firsts, including the first RuSPORT open-wheel victory when A.J. Allmendinger led the team to a RuSPORT 1-2 in the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2003. The win was the first of many in a record-breaking year on the way to capturing the series championship in their maiden season. The Long Beach Grand Prix was also the site of RuSPORT's debut in the Champ Car World Series last year.

* American 23 year-old A.J. Allmendinger returns with RuSPORT in the #10 car for his sophomore season. Although his teammate, the 26 year-old Englishman Justin Wilson is new to the team this year, 2005 will be his second year in Champ Car competition as well. The pairing is new, but A.J. and Justin are by no means strangers. The two battled head to head many times last season with strong results. In fact, the competition on the track drove A.J. and Justin to finish 1-2, respectively in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year title and for the prestigious Autosport International Rookie of the Year Award.

* Allmendinger's capture of the 2004 Roshfrans Rookie of the Year title marked only the second time in Champ Car history that a rookie with a first-year team had accomplished this feat. A.J. went on to finish 6th overall in the Drivers Championship, giving him the highest finish for an American-born Champ Car rookie since Bobby Rahal in 1982.

* On just his first Champ Car outing, A.J. delivered his first of 11 top- ten qualifications here in Long Beach last year. Allmendinger went on to finish 12th, despite being caught up in a first lap tangle.

* Justin, also making his Champ Car debut here in 2004, qualified 11th with his former team. Wilson drove and impressive race and went on to capture his first Champ Car top-ten finish with a 6th-place result. The finish was the highest placing by a rookie.

* Although Wilson is the most visible new face on the RuSPORT squad for 2005, the team has added depth to its operation with a few key personnel. One of the most notable additions is that of veteran race engineer Todd Malloy. The championship-winning Malloy will be engineering Justin's #10 car.

-rusport-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Bobby Rahal , A.J. Allmendinger