RuSPORT technical director Gerald Tyler has left the team, leaving a valuable piece missing from the set-up ahead of its proposed participation in this year's revived Champ Car World Series..

Sources in the United States claim that Tyler, who was jointly responsible for the rapid rise of the current Toyota Atlantic champions, parted company with the outfit late in 2003.

Tyler had been instrumental in RuSPORT's rapid elevation to the position of series leader, and played a key role in both picking and nurturing Champ Car hopeful AJ
Allmendinger in his debut season. He had been hired by team founder Carl Russo, whose vision of creating a leading US open-wheel team led him to scout the best talent in all areas. Tyler reportedly turned down several top-line offers for NASCAR, Champ Car and the IRL to join Russo in running Allmendinger and Aaron Justus in 2003.

Prior to his involvement with RuSPORT - which hopes to graduate to the OWRS-run Champ Car World Series in 2004 - Tyler engineered championship-winning cars for Dorricott Racing, which ran Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney and Luis Diaz to a 1-3-4 Toyota Atlantic Championship finish in 2002 and Townsend Bell to the final Indy Lights title the preceding season.

Despite Tyler's departure, there is little doubt that RuSPORT will continue into Champ Cars this season, most probably with Allmendinger in the cockpit. Russo, Jeremy Dale, operations director Steve Wulff all remain onboard.



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