RuSPORT

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

RuSPORT was an auto racing team that competed in the Champ Car World Series. It was founded in September 2002 by Carl Russo.

Russo drove for the team then known as Performance Development and Racing (PDR) based in Fort Collins, Colorado (USA ) which was owned by Steve Wulff. Russo competed in the Toyota Atlantic Series driving a car prepared by PDR in the 2002 season before he decided that team ownership suited him better than being a driver. Russo acquired the assets of PDR from Wulff in late 2002, which gave rise to RuSPORT. Wulff stayed on Operations Director and Jeremy Dale, a longtime associate of Russo's, was brought on as President of the new operation.

RuSPORT competed in the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship Series with drivers Aaron Justus and A. J. Allmendinger. Allmendinger won the championship with seven victories from 11 starts.

RuSPORT and Allmendinger moved to Champ Car in 2004 along with a second car driven by Michel Jourdain Jr.. The team quickly grew from a small Atlantic Series team to a two-car Champ Car team with more than 40 employees. The rookie team placed Jourdain and Allmendinger in the top-five numerous time en route to Allmendinger winning Rookie-of-the-Year honors. This was only the second time in the history of the Champ Car Series that a rookie team with a rookie driver accomplished the feat.

In 2005, Justin Wilson was signed as a replacement for 2005 for Jourdain, leading the team to their first wins. Wilson scored two victories (Toronto and Mexico City) and finished third in the championship. Allmendinger came close to victory, with four runner-up finishes during the season. For 2006 they were expected to be challengers to Newman/Haas Racing. Mid-way through the season & after 3 straight top 10 finishes, the team surprisingly replaced Allmendinger with 2002 CART champion Cristiano da Matta who moved over from Dale Coyne Racing. Allmendinger would win the next 3 races in a row for his new team. Cristiano da Matta was injured in a freak collision with a deer during testing at Road America on August 3, 2006.

On September 17, 2006, the team announced that it would selected Australian Ryan Briscoe, to fill in for the final two races of the 2006 season, Surfers Paradise, Australia and Mexico City.

At the conclusion of the 2006 season, Russo's time and energy were being increasingly directed toward his rapidly growing company, Calix, and he was forced to leave behind the team he created and the sport he loved. In November 2006 PKV Racing co-owner Dan Pettit purchased the team from Russo.

On January 22, 2007, RuSPORT confirmed the return of Justin Wilson and title sponsor, CDW. They reportedly signed Wilson to a multi year contract.[1] RuSPORT also formed a technical alliance with the Rocketsports team, and the team was dubbed RSPORTS. Wilson won at Assen and scored solidly enough to finish second overall, while Tagliani struggled and finished outside the series top 10. The alliance was however dissolved before the end of the 2007 season. The RuSPORT team dissolved as of December 31, 2007[2] and Pettit merged his team ownership with Forsythe Championship Racing.[3] Forsythe would ultimately fold its team when ChampCar merged into the Indy Racing League for 2008.

Past Drivers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ RuSPORT News, January 22, 2007
  2. ^ Oreovicz, John. It's adios and au revoir as Champ Car season closes in Mexico City, ESPN.com, November 8, 2007
  3. ^ Malsher, David. Pettit joins Forsythe as RuSPORT close, autosport.com, November 26, 2007


2008 Champ Car season
NHL Forsythe/Pettit Minardi Australia Rocketsports Coyne PKV PCM Conquest
Wilson
Rahal
Tracy
7 TBA
4 TBA
14 Doornbos
Power
15 TBA
Bernoldi 11 TBA
19 TBA
21 TBA
22 Servià
28 TBA
29 Figge
24 Perera
34 TBA
Long Beach - Houston - Laguna Seca - Zolder - Jerez - Cleveland - Mont-Tremblant - Toronto - Edmonton - Portland - Road America - Assen - Surfers Paradise - Mexico City