Last week Saturday I gave y’all a teaser of the takeoff of the first ever dedicated motorsports race track in Nigeria.
Now the ‘sauce’ is ready to be served hot.
The day started off very bright and hot which every race event craves for instead of a wet weather. Getting to the venue; KM32 Benin-Agbor Highway, Evbuobanosa which is in Edo State though closer to the boundary with Delta State, one is marveled at the massive expanse of land cleared and prepped for the motorsports facility. The track alone is 2.5km in length.
Having not had breakfast we were wondering how to get food there but a quick look around revealed a food and recreational court were we got food and drinks at very good prices. As I ate I fell in love with the sparkling blue waters of the swimming pool and the sands of the volleyball court there. I just wanted to eat, play some games then swim but the thoughts of the race was having an upper hand in my mind.
Shortly just after 12pm, the national anthem was sang as the entourage of the representatives the Benin royal kingdom and government officials representing the Executive Governor of Edo State; H. E Godwin Obaseki came in.
First to give a welcome address was the paramount ruler of the village and patron of the racing facility, Prof G. I. Akenzua, the Enogie of Evhuabanosa. He highlighted the struggles the founder Mr Odu Okao (aka Motor) went through to get the place to its present status. He also appreciated the previous administration of H. E Comrade Adams Oshiomole who rapidly approved and signed the Certificate of Occupancy for the facility thus helping to make the track a reality without bureaucratic bottlenecks. He was equally excited at the huge potentials his community hosting the race facility will bring to them.
Thereafter, the representative of the Oba of Benin; Oba Ewuare, High Chief Edebiri, the Esogbon of Benin Kingdom offered the traditional prayers and broke the kolanuts declaring the track and event open.
Next was an address by the Director General of the National Agency on the Prohibition on Trafficking of Individuals and Persons (NAPTIP) Mrs Julie Okoh Donlin. She also praised the efforts of the founders and prayed for more growth for the event. She stated that the local government area hosting the event has the 3rd highest rate of people being trafficked (from Edo State) hence their active participation in the event. With this type of event, the people should realize that most of those things they are enticed with abroad are now here with us in Nigeria and even in their community. They can partake in them and still make money in different capacities. She admonished all to always report incidents of human trafficking around us so that vulnerable people can be saved from the devastating effects of human trafficking.
The road x started on Wednesday with racers and teams given free practice lap sessions, this continued on Thursday for teams that could not make it on Wednesday while the grid position qualifiers was done on Friday.
The race proper on Staurday started with the 600cc category for the powerbikes and 5 bikes participated in the race including a very brave female rider DOT. At the end of which the winners emerged in the following order:
1st place went to Alpacino with a time of 1:24:78.
2nd place went to Badblood with a time of 1:27:65.
3rd place went to Blow with a time of 1:30:47.
After the 600cc came the higher capacity 1000cc category and 8 powerful bikes raced. The winners emerged in the following order:
1st place went to Jack Afara of A41
2nd place went to Argo of Argotios racing
3rd place went to B9
After the motorcycle categories came the supercars category. 3 cars; a BMW M6 (driven by Antonio Sandouk), a Tiger Avon (driven by Theo) and a Chevrolet Camaro participated. At the end of which the BMW took the 1st position while the Chevrolet took the 2nd position and the Tiger took the 3rd position.
The next category to race was the BMW E30 ‘homologated’ Team cars. These are race prepared cars with rollover cages, racing seats, steering and other race bits. After a thrilling race the winners emerged in the following order:
1st position – Outdoors Racing 1:32:02
2nd position – Forth worth (rage) – 1:32:78
3rd position – Autobarn – 1:37:46
Next in line was the presentation of the prices which was done by Chief Edebiri, Prof Akenzua, his wife, and the representative of Tecno Mobile, one of the leading sponsors of the event.
The next program was a pool party at Feligold Hotel, Benin City. It turned out a grand bonding time for all as the music, drinks, gals and guys were all on point. There was no segregation of who was a biker or a driver, the motorsports family in Nigeria proved to be ONE family that night.
The question on everybody’s lips now is when is the next edition.
If you missed it, you missed big-time.
More pictures below…