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Old 07-15-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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Factory-Backed Lotus Sport USA Racing Team Formed

If you feel like Lotus has been making an increased amount of noise in motorsports activities lately, we’re right there with you. It doesn’t hurt that both Group Lotus—the people who build the road cars—and Team Lotus—the guys who race in F1 with Renault—are both so active. But if you’re also sad that all the fun seems to be happening across the pond, we’re happy to tell you that better days lie ahead. Today, Group Lotus announced the formation of Lotus Sport USA, a team that will launch with a full International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) schedule with the Evora GTE in 2012.

Two men in particular are responsible for Lotus’ new presence in the States. The first team principal, Ian Dawson, worked with Team Lotus in the early ’70s before leaving to help launch Rebaque F1, racer Hector Rebaque’s short-lived team that raced Lotus chassis with Ford engines in 1978 and 1979. It’s still both the only Mexican team and the only Lotus privateer team to run F1. The second team principal, John Pritzlaff, is the money man. Lotus hopes his banking background will “bring structure and oversight to the racing program.” Lotus motorsports director Claudio Berro continues, “With Ian Dawson and John Pritzlaff on board, I’m sure Lotus Sport USA will go from strength to strength.”

The team’s full intentions are still hazy, but we’re told the focus will be on the GT2 and LMP2 classes of IMSA, with the Evora GTE starting things off in GT2. An official press release promises “the team will be announcing some innovative and exciting new partners to the program, including key personnel to support this long-term partnership.” We wouldn’t be surprised to see a big name or two jump at the chance to help Lotus’s first official Stateside racing organization. Headquarters for the team will reside at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research and testing will begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Text Source: Car & Driver

Last edited by warneej; 07-15-2011 at 05:55 PM.
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