Lotus Sport USA gets ready to race Evora GTE here in 2012
Recognizing that racing continues to be a fundamental tenet of its brand identity and that America is a key to its future commercial success as an automaker, Group Lotus Motorsport has formed a new operation to address the need: Lotus Sport USA. The new team, which enjoys full factory backing, will begin testing this fall and plans to campaign the Lotus Evora GTE in IMSA's (International Motor Sport Association) GT2 category in during the 2012 season. Down the line, its also anticipates competing in the LMP2 prototype class as well as taking part in the newly announced FIA World Endurance Championship.
Heading up Lotus Sport USA are a pair of well-seasoned principals, Ian Dawson and John Pritzlaff. Dawson's initial involvement with the firm's racing programs began back in the '70s with the Team Lotus F1 operation, while Pritzlaff is a financial expert who also happens to be a life-long Lotus motorsport devotee. In making the announcement, Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro said: "We are very happy to confirm the formal plans for Lotus Sport USA. This part of the world represents a very important market to Group Lotus now and for the future. With Ian Dawson and John Pritzlaff on board, I'm sure Lotus Sport USA will go from strength to strength."
While Berro's official statement provided few other details about Lotus Sport USA, he did note that "the team will be announcing some innovative and exciting new partners to the program, including key personnel to support this long-term partnership." Home base for Lotus Sport USA is the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research complex and testing facility near Garysburg, while its European operation is located near the Group Lotus Headquarters in Norfolk England