Lotus is making no secret of its desire to gain the attention of American performance fans by announcing plans for the establishment of a new, locally run Lotus Sport USA motorsports team.

The factory-backed team will focus primarily on the GT2 and LMP2 classes in IMSA (International Motor Sport Association). Following the recent announcement of the exciting World Endurance Championship by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) and ACO (Automobile Club de l’Oust), the new driver and constructor championships are being considered.

The team will begin testing in the fourth quarter of this year, with a view to compete in a full North American and international schedule by as early as 2012. Their weapon of choice will be the Lotus Evora GTE (Evora Cup race car pictured), though the number of race car categories and models is expected to be expanded in the near future.

Partners and sponsors for the Lotus Sport USA team will be announced at a later date. However, we can report that Claudio Berro will remain as Director of Motorsport for Lotus and that knowledgeable Formula 1 manager Ian Dawson will be directly involved with the U.S. operations. Early in his career, Dawson was a member of the prestigious Team Lotus during the 1970s. Afterwards Ian continued working with the brand in a key role for the only private Lotus Team, Rebaque F1.

Lotus Sport USA’s North America headquarters will be situated at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research, while a second facility will be located near Lotus’ own headquarters in Hethel, England.