Kola Aluko Finishes Third With Kessel Racing at Rome 6 Hours

Dec 07, 2012, 11:13 ET from KA News

LONDON, December 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Nigerian-born businessman Kola Aluko has ended two days of racing at Rome's Vallelunga circuit in third place with Kessel Racing teammates Thomas Kemenater and Maurizio Mediani, after the Swiss team finished third behind Russia's Esta Motorsport and Italy's AF Corse.

A leading light in Nigeria's booming energy sector, Kola Aluko is an ardent motorsports enthusiast and the owner of Kessel Racing's Ferrari 458 GT2. His previous competitive experience with Kessel includes the Winter Series GTOpen Montmeló.

This year's race at Vallelunga - the fourth and final round of the Endurance Champions Cup - was completely dominated by Ferrari, with Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Mercedes all left standing.

Overnight rain meant the safety car was out for the first 25 minutes, after which pole-man AF Corse's Gimmi Bruni led for the first hour. Mechanical problems struck the Italian team however, to the advantage of Esta - whose No. 77 Ferrari, driven by Alexander Skryabin, established a substantial lead.

Having held second place for a time towards the end of the race, Kessel Racing's No. 7 Ferrari (Akuko-Kemenater) was eventually passed by AF Corse's No. 5 (Gerber-Cioci-Fisichella), finishing third on an all-Ferrari podium.

Kessel Racing was founded by Swiss F1 driver Loris Kessel and competes in a number of high profile series including the Ferrari Challenge and the FIA GT2 and GT3 championships. Among its titles are the 2007 GT3 series (European Champions) and the Ferrari Challenge Team Cup.

Speaking after the race, a jubilant Aluko said: "We were up against some very good drivers here and this is a great result for us. It's a tribute to the hard work of everyone on the team and I'm delighted to have played my part on the track."

Alongside his business career, Kola Aluko is involved in important charity work through the Made in Africa Foundation - a partnership with international designer Ozwald Boateng that contributes to Africa's economic and social development.