.Ovie Iroro while speaking to Journalists in Lagos on Monday. –
By Tunde Oyedele –
Motorsport wunderkind Ovie Ross Iroro says his ambition is to become Nigeria’s youngest Formula 1 driver and he wants Nigerians to help him accomplish his vision.
Ovie Iroro, the first Nigerian to feature in the British Formula Ford Championship, made the clarion call during a press parley held at the Bay Lounge, Lekki in Lagos on Monday, 13 April, 2015.
The 20-year old Mechanical Engineering undergraduate at the University College London, used the occasion to reveal his childhood passion and how he ventured into Motorsport.
“I have been involved in Motorsport and driving since I was young and I learnt how to drive when I attained the right height. It started light a desire but my interest in Motorsport started to grow deeper when I won my first Go-kart race. Back then, I raced against some friends who had done Motor Racing before and my victory sent a signal that I could do the stuff if I push further”, Ovie narrated.
The determined Ovie pushed his career further when he represented Nigeria in the Young Drivers Excellence Academy competition held in South Africa in 2012.
“Before the event in South Africa, I featured in a Go-karting competition in 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria and I won the tournament. Interestingly, I raced past over one hundred participants from the qualifying stages through to the final.
“Apart from winning the Best Rookie award at Rye-House club championship 2012, I was also part of the UCL BUKC rookie team and I helped them to place 7th overall in the UK. I was also part of the 2nd Rugby team with appearances for the 1st team at Strathallan School in Scotland and I still cherish my very first test as a Formula Ford Driver, which was successful”, he said.
On the particular help he needs from Nigerians, Ovie, whose main objective in Motorsport is to race through the Grand Prix 3 and 2 before announcing his presence in the prestigious Formula 1, said: “the support I need right now is funding. I want sponsors because Motorsport is a lucrative and expensive sport. I need money to get training materials, I need money to hire the car, the tyres and other gadgets”.
Ovie hinted that he will be racing in the Formula Renault in the UK this year, and then in the World GT3 championship and the Blancpain Endurance Series with Nigerian Racing Eagle.
Ovie is however not alone in his struggle to make history for the country, President of the Nigerian Automobile Sports Club of Nigeria, Abdul Agunbiade, has also called on the corporate Nigeria to give the Motorsport Driver the required support and sponsorship.
Agunbiade, who doubles as a member of the International Formula 1, FIA, said: “We at the Nigerian Automobile Sports Club of Nigeria are doing our best to push him forward to ensure he competes favourably with his counterparts in Europe and other international tournaments.
“I’m particularly interested in Ovie because he is disciplined. He is a potential goal getter, who needs exposure to participate in the best Motorsport races in the world”.