Members of the Nigeria Racing Eagle, the first team to represent Africa in the global FIA GT Series, were presented to a proud and appreciative audience at two separate events during the week.
The Nigerian team will be competing in the Grand Touring series that boasts a global audience of 500 million using super sports cars, one of which is an Audi R8 already decked in national colours of green and white and ready for action.
During the two events which included a VIP cocktail at the Ikoyi Boat Club and an official unveiling at the Palms Shopping Mall Lekki (both in Lagos), Nigerian drivers Sam Collins, Nathan Wright and Ovie Iroro were introduced to the public along with former Red Bull Test Driver Adrian Zaugg and Gugu Zulu both from South Africa and Cameroonian Christian Ebong.
The team is a mix of seasoned veterans from Collins who has Formula One experience to precocious talents like 19-year-old Iroro, who barely three years, ago was racing Karts at the Get Arena, Lagos.
According to CEO GRC Motorsport and team principal, Ribi Adshokan, the process of setting the team up took six years. "Now we are happy to have them ready to represent Nigeria and, by extension, Africa when they compete at the major events around the world," he said.
He also revealed that his organisation has been granted the hosting rights for GT Series in Nigeria.
"We brought a world renowned street circuit designer to Lagos to do the initial survey, and Lagos Marina was selected as the best location to host the GT Series. It will be a street circuit just like the one in Monaco," he said.
Adeshokan further disclosed plans of making the Racing Eagle team famous in the country through television reality shows and other fan-oriented programmes. He enthused about the advantages of Nigeria being associated with a prestigious sport like racing and explained that the country stands to benefit from the richest sport in the world projected to generate over $100 million for Nigeria by creating new jobs and promoting foreign investment.
Members of the public were invited to an interactive session with the drivers, and also had the opportunity of testing their skills with racing simulators at both events.