There should be a flash banner here. There are 2 main reasons why you may not be able to see it:
  • You do not have the required version of Flash MX installed (v8.0+) in your browser
  • JavaScript is disabled in your browser

Nigerian Racing Eagle Presents 2013 Line-up

Zaugg and Ebong for British GT, plus young driver roster

New British GT entrant Nigerian Racing Eagle presented its driver line-up for the season in London on Friday. Experienced South African former GP2 and A1GP pilot Adrian Zaugg will be joined by 29-year-old Cameroonian Christian Ebong in the team's Audi R8 LMS GT3 for the British GT season, while the outfit will also be placing a selection of African drivers in lower formulae as part of a significant driver development effort.

Zaugg, 26, scored several wins for the South African A1GP team between 2006 and 2008, but is not a complete stranger to racing with a roof, having taken a victory, podiums and pole positions in last season's Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo. “There's obviously a dramatic weight difference compared to single-seaters, plus the Trofeo cars are four-wheel-drive,” he said, “but I adapted quickly and was on the pace in my first race.” Of the circuits on the 2013 British GT schedule, only Oulton Park and Rockingham will be new to Zaugg, and he states confidently that pole positions and race wins are the goal.

Team-mate Christian Ebong's name is not as familiar as Zaugg's to followers of European racing, but he has a solid background in the Peugeot RCZ cup and SEAT Supercopa touring-car series. “Adrian's speed and my greater experience of driving and setting up closed-wheel cars should make a for a good combination,” he said.

Nigerian Racing Eagle's chief backer is London-based businessman Ribi Adeshokan, who has a grand vision to promote motorsport in his home continent, as well as guide young African drivers and engineers through the ranks of the sport. “Adrian is used to winning, so we definitely want to be on the podium as an initial goal,” he said. At the outset, the team will be largely staffed and run by experienced British engineers and mechanics, but Adeshokan adds that the plan is to begin integrating African personnel as soon as possible.

To this end, Racecar Engineering deputy editor and occasional Radio Le Mans contributor Sam Collins has been recruited to oversee Nigerian Racing Eagle's young driver development efforts. “My job is to select appropriate series to place our drivers in, so we're looking at several options right now, such as GT4 with Nissan, as well as Formula Jedi and Formula Renault, or even something in the States like IMSA Prototype Lites.” he explained.

“BRDC F4 looks great from a budget point of view, but there's very little scope for the drivers to learn about setting up and developing a car there. Plus, it's not just about drivers – we're aiming to bring on engineers, too, and we already have a team competing in Formula Student.”

South African Gugu Zulu, plus Nigerians Ovie Iroro and Nathan Wright and some young karting prospects, are the first confirmed drivers for the Nigerian Racing Eagle scheme.

Stephen Errity