Wish Lotus was competing in more race events within the continental United States? Good news: the company announced late last week that it’s opening a U.S. wing of its Lotus Sport operation, will soon field a race-spec Evora in a number of IMSA events.
According to Group Lotus, the company’s Lotus Motorsport operation will bring a race team to the U.S. next year, allowing it to compete in GT2 and LMP2 classes throughout the 2012 season both stateside and abroad. Though Lotus has returned to racing at Indianapolis with an open-wheel car, this marks the company’s first return to prototype racing in quite some time.
“We are very happy to confirm the formal plans for Lotus Sport USA,” Claudio Berro, director of Lotus Motorsport, said in a prepared statement. “This part of the world represents a very important market to Group Lotus now and for the future.”
Lotus Sport USA will race the Evora GTE, a purpose-built factory racer based on the Evora road car. The GTE packs a 4.0-liter Toyota-Cosworth V-6 engine, which sends 470 hp through a six-speed Xtrac sequential transmission. The Evora GTE tips the scales at just 2739 pounds, a fair bit lighter than the 3040-pound curb weight of a standard Evora road car.
The team has established its headquarters at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research. Testing for the race team is set to begin toward the end of 2011. The race calendar and driver roster will be announced at a later date.
Source: Group Lotus