NCCAR lands Lotus Sport USA

Published 11:14 am Monday, July 18, 2011

GARYSBURG — Lotus Sport USA will locate their North American headquarters operations at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research.

On Friday, NCCAR Chief Operating Officer Simon Cobb shared the news via press release.

According to Cobb, Lotus Sport USA, led by Team Principals Ian Dawson and John Pritzlaff, is a newly formed and factory endorsed team which will focus primarily on the GT2 and LMP2 classes in the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA). The UK group will participate in motorsport activities in selected US racing series, develop new technologies for race cars and establish related educational programs.

Testing and developing of the new Lotus Evora GTE will start later in 2011 with a full US race series schedule planned for 2012. 

“As you know, NCCAR has been developed to exacting standards with a deliberate intent to support and encourage development of the automotive industry in North Carolina,” Cobb said.  “We have worked with Lotus Sport USA team principal Ian Dawson for some time now, and welcome the opportunity to have Group Lotus Motorsport operations for North America based at the NCCAR facility. We expect that their activities here will attract further and broader interest in NCCAR and North Carolina as great places to conduct business.”

On July 13, Group Lotus Motorsport announced the formation of Lotus Sport USA.

“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,” said Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro. “With Ian Dawson and John Pritzlaff on board, I’m sure Lotus Sport USA will go from strength to strength.”

Following the recent announcement of the World Endurance Championship by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) and ACO (Automobile Club de l’Oust), the driver and constructor championships are being considered.

The new team will initially race with the Lotus Evora GTE through a full North American and International schedule in 2012. The program will begin testing in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The team will be announcing some innovative and exciting new partners to the program, including key personnel to support this long-term partnership.

The move marks the welcome return of Dawson to the Lotus brand. Early in his career, he was a member of the prestigious Team Lotus in the 1970’s. Afterwards, Dawson continued working with the brand in a key role for the only private Lotus Team, Rebaque F1.

With his background in banking as a financial executive, Pritzlaff will bring structure and oversight to the racing program.

While the North American Headquarters for Lotus Sport USA are located at NCCAR, the European Headquarters is near the Group Lotus Headquarters in Norfolk, England.