International businessman Kola Aluko has expressed his optimism for the future of motor racing in Africa, saying he believes African manufacturing industries will soon be in a position to compete with major global suppliers to the sport.
“We’ve already seen multinationals in other industries moving manufacturing operations from China to Africa, and I think that’s a trend that’s likely to continue as factory wages continue to rise throughout many parts of Asia,” said Nigerian-born Aluko.
Kola Aluko is an avid motor racing enthusiast and has participated in a number of major European races for the Swiss team Kessel Racing. He and his co-driver Thomas Kemenater finished fourth overall at last year’s Rome 6 Hours endurance race at the ACI Vallelunga Circuit.
Nigeria is one of a handful of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that are beginning to flex their motor sporting muscles, with the recently founded Nigeria Racing Eagle (NRE) due to compete in major events over the next few months, including the FIA GT3 series.
NRE has joined forces with the UK’s Tiger Racing to establish a development centre in Nigeria to train young mechanics and engineers. The new team recently unveiled its car: a silver and green Audi R8 LMS.
“Not just in Nigeria, but throughout West Africa and beyond there is real passion for motor racing,” Aluko said.
“As that domestic demand grows it will present opportunities for the development of home grown industries surrounding the sport, from the manufacture of parts and tyres to servicing and maintenance.
“In time, I see no reason why African suppliers shouldn’t follow the lead of firms in other sectors in attracting business from major western players as well as from the BRICs. It’s definitely within reach.”
SOURCE KA News