There are many people who consider the thought of car racing in Nigeria impossible. But the truth is that for decades, Nigerians have been engaging in car racing; both in organised and street levels.
Today, there is a new awakening towards the sport in the country. Car racing is gaining new grounds and is more organised. Here are 10 fascinating things you should know about car racing in Nigeria:
1. Nigeria Has a Dedicated Car Race Track
You may not have heard it but Nigeria’s first car race track is the MotorSport Raceway, Evbuobanosa. It is located in a town just 20 minutes from Benin-city. The MotorSport Raceway, which has a total of 11 bends on a 2.3KM, offers lovers of car race the chance to live their passion for car race tracks.
Measuring over 130 acres of land, the race track is equipped with a tyre centre, a fuel station with self-service pumps, a restaurant, a clubhouse and a swimming pool.
2. Argungu Hosted the First Car Racing Contest
The first organised car racing in Nigeria was in the late ‘70s. it was called the Argungu Motor Rally, and as the name suggests, it was held during the famous Argungu Fishing Festival.
There is no clear reason why it was discontinued, but while it was on, the car race took place in off-road conditions.
3. Abuja Has Some of the Best Supercars
After the Argungu car racing was discontinued, car racing still held sway in cities with supercars. Abuja happens to be the home of some supercars that can compete with F1 cars.
Most car racers in Abuja are regular 9-5 workers during the week but become speed demons on weekends. This state kept the spirit of car racing alive for so long. Lagos is another place where car racing has taken place.
4. The Central Mosque Area and Eko Atlantic Grounds Revived Car Racing
The Central Mosque area in Abuja and the Eko Atlantic grounds are significant to the history of car racing in Nigeria. The areas around these places served as race tracks for car racers in these two states. Car lovers organised themselves into clubs to plan racing events.
5. NASA NG is in Charge of Race Championship
This is the body responsible for the organisation of the National Grand Prix (the Championship). This competition comprises one title of National Champion, for a driver and his/her team.
The competition consists of the National Grand Prix races, which are included in the National GP calendar and in respect of which the teams, sponsors, partners and organizers have signed organization agreements with the NASA NG.
6. The 2020 Argungu Motor Race Covered 13 Cities
The 2020 Argungu Motor Race trophy went to PAN Nigeria, Nigeria’s top auto assembly plant. The car that won the race was a Peugeot 508 GT. It defeated all its competitors like Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Changa (from Stallion Motors), GAC, JAC (Elizade Motors), Yutong and JMC to emerge the winner.
The Argungu Motor Rally is Nigeria’s premier motorsport and was revived in 2020 after suffering setbacks in the 1980s, 2004 and 2009. The three-day event covered seven states: FCT, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi.
From the flag-off point at the Eagle Square in Abuja, FCT, to the flag-down centre in Argungu, Kebbi State, the drivers, traversed 13 major cities and towns: Abuja, Keffi, Kachia, Kaduna, Funtua, Gusau, Sokoto, Shagari, Dogondaji, Tambuwal, Jega, Birnin Kebbi and Argungu.
7. AutoFest Nigeria Features the Who-is-Who in Exotic Cars
The AutoFest Nigeria is a gathering of petrol-heads, racers, car enthusiasts and speedsters organised by BMW Club Nigeria. The event features supercars from Tiger, BMW, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Ducatis, Maserati, Kawasaki and more.
It is the who-is-who of exotic cars in Nigeria and their speed is put to test. Held in Akin Adesola, Victoria Island, the event is always charged with energy and the familiar smell of burning tyres, screams of excitement and thrills.
8. Ondo Auto Rally is Elitist
The 2019 Ondo Car Race featured some of the biggest names and the high and mighty in Nigeria. It had the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, industrialist and head of Elizade Motors, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola in attendance.
The event had earlier witnessed a two-way Drag Race between Rotimi Akeredolu and Chief Ade Ojo in 2018. Participants for the 2019 edition were drawn from different states of Nigeria.
9. The BMW Dragfest
This car race event is packed with drag races from the beginning to the end. It involves both cars and bikes. It is hosted by the BMW Club Nigeria.
10. Nigeria Road-X Championship
The Nigeria Road-X Championship is the biggest motor racing event in the country. The 2019 edition took place at the Motorsport Raceway in Edo state. The event attracted thousands of spectators.
Final Thoughts on Car Racing in Nigeria
Like we said when we started, car racing in Nigeria is not a subject of fiction. You simply need to be informed about where it happens, the cars involved as well as the calibre of drivers who sit behind the wheels of the race cars.
Below is the video coverage of an Expensive SUPERCAR Racing in Lagos Nigeria! This event was covered by popular Vlogger, Tayo Aina.