Ngatoa confirmed for full S5000 campaign

Kaleb Ngatoa claimed a race win at Sandown last year. Picture: Daniel Kalisz

New Zealand’s Kaleb Ngatoa has confirmed his plans to contest this year’s S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship with Team BRM.

A multiple karting champion, Ngatoa contested a partial S5000 campaign last year where he ultimately ended up ninth in the standings.

In only his fourth start, he claimed a podium finish at Sandown International Motor Raceway and went on to win the following race.

The 20-year-old would take another victory at the final round of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to race in the S5000 championship,” said Ngatoa.

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“I really enjoyed driving the car last time and can’t wait to be back in it.

“Carrying on the relationship with Team BRM is a real positive and I think it will give us a good shot at maintaining the momentum from last year and help us to be up at the front challenging for the championship.

“We just need to focus on qualifying and being fast in the race. If we can get some good early results hopefully that’ll put us in a good position to fight for the championship.

“I can’t wait to get over there and get things started. I’ve been working hard on and off the track. I feel amazing and am really excited to be back in the championship.”

Adelaide-based Team BRM is set to confirm its full driver line-up later today ahead of the opening round at Symmons Plains next weekend.

Team boss Mark Rundle expressed his excitement in having Ngatoa return.

“Everyone in the team is genuinely stoked to welcome Kaleb back to BRM for a full season in S5000 with us,” said Rundle.

“What he did last season with such limited experience of both the car and the circuits was really very impressive particularly at Phillip Island where he had never driven on the circuit prior to qualifying.

“To win races against seasoned competitors like Joey Mawson and James Golding was impressive and with his additional time racing in the United States behind him, we are certainly confident Kaleb can be in contention for race wins and if he can do that he’ll be a championship challenger.”

Ngatoa enjoyed something of a breakout in 2021, claiming pole position for the New Zealand Grand Prix as part of the Toyota Racing Series.

That saw the youngster edge out the likes of Shane van Gisbergen, Andre Heimgarnter, and Greg Murphy at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.

Ngatoa spent time at the Paul Morris-owned Norwell Motorplex where he received tuition from two-time Supercars champion van Gisbergen.

The S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship gets underway at AWC Race Tasmania across February 11-13.

The championship is also set to feature at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, Sydney Motorsport Park, Hidden Valley Raceway, and Sandown.

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