The Nigerian born race car driver Ovie Iroro has maintained unbeatable progress and has remained a shining star in motorsport. He is a stickler for excellence and a racing giant in his own right. His skill and unbeatable prowess has distinguished him and made him a reference point in the field of car racing.
Ovie was born in his home country Nigeria, but currently lives in the UK. His love and passion for car racing started at a very young age; as a teenager, he pursued this dream with determination and persevered in hope, until his opportunity came knocking, which reminds me of the saying that; “It is better to be prepared and then wait patiently for an opportunity than to have an opportunity and be unprepared.” His career in racing started in Nigeria when he competed in a karting competition, with his friends and won. In his words; “I have always been interested in motorsport and driving fast since I was young and I learnt how to drive as soon as I was tall enough to do so. I only took it seriously when I won my first ever Go-kart race, it was against my friends but they had all done it before, and I sensed I had it in me. In December 2010 I took part in a Go-karting competition in Lagos Nigeria and I went on to win it, beating more than a hundred people from the qualifying stages down to the final race. That was the first time I had ever made any money on my own or won any high profile competition so I felt really good and I knew I had to take racing much farther.”
Although car racing was not a popular sport in the part of the world where the teenager grew up, yet he kept a steady gaze on his dream and shut his ears from every whisper of discouragement. “If I had told anyone that I wanted to be a racing driver, they would have probably written it off as a really far-fetched dream because motorsport is virtually non-existent in Nigeria and by this time last year, I could hardly imagine that I would be given the opportunity to represent my country on the world stage.”
The young racer didn’t always have it smooth and rosy; like a writer once said; “The road to greatness is never without thorns.” Ovie had a major challenge staring him in the face; lack of funds. However, cautious optimism and the love of his family helped him get the support he needed, and he eventually got external commitment and was able to secure a contract to drive in the Formula Renault Championship; an occurrence that launched him as the first Nigerian to ever compete in a Renault Championship. Ovie says, “I hope this story can inspire other young drivers to step up and be involved in motorsport. You may be a while away from racing internationally, but there is a lot of time to learn and the opportunities certainly exist. Racing has now become more accessible in Nigeria because NRE is interested in training young drivers from Nigeria.”
A few months ago, the trail blazer was officially unveiled amongst a few other experts as the Nigerian Racing Eagle Drivers at London’s west end venue- Vanilla. Ovie is currently a Mechanical Engineering student at the Strathallan School in Scotland. He is a thriving driving star in the popular Formula Renault BARC. He says; “I chose Formula Renault BARC because of its mix of close competitive racing and its great reputation. I also think it provides the best experience and training available at this level. Ultimately I would love to aim for an F1 seat, and I felt this is the best place to start.”
Are you prepared to make the most of those opportunities you have been waiting on? Thoughts to ponder on.