Kaleb Ngatoa is the latest Kiwi driver confirmed for the 2021 Toyota Racing Series.
The Marton-based racer will compete in the full three-round 2021 series, which will begin with the 66th New Zealand Grand Prix at Hampton Downs over the weekend of January 22-24.
Ngatoa has extensively tested both the current-spec FT60 and older generation FT50 cars this year.
After spending the previous few seasons honing his skills in Formula First and Formula Ford, 19-year-old believes he is now prepared to make the next big career step and ignite his international ambitions.
“Honestly I feel really comfortable in the car and am enjoying the speed and grip compared to what I have driven before,” he said.
“Most of all though, it’s going to be great to be part of the Grand Prix and the series. To have the chance to race in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series is huge for me and the Grand Prix is so special isn’t it? I would love to add my name to the trophy. Every Kiwi driver knows how cool that would be and what an honour it would be to have my name on there with some of my motorsport heroes and mentors.”
Before switching to circuit racing, Ngatoa was one of the country’s most successful karting talents. Starting in 2011, he immediately shot to prominence by winning the cadet class of the NZ CIK Trophy.
Just two years later he was on the top step of the championship rostrum again, this time winning the 100cc Junior Restricted Class of the Kartsport NZ North Island Sprint Championship.
Ngatoa has also spent a season in the Toyota 86 championship before seamlessly transitioning into the the national Formula Ford Championship.
He was sitting seventh in the Formula Ford Championship before the annulment of the season finale from Hampton Downs.
Three podium finishes in the last four races of the championship were demonstrative of Ngatoa’s rapid development in the series.
“I am working one hundred per cent to be ready for the start of the championship and thinking about ways I can improve myself and the car in the time until it begins,” he said. “I am sure the other drivers will be doing the same and I can’t wait to be out there racing with them.”
After the Grand Prix, the second round of the championship will be on the shorter Hampton Downs National track before it concludes at Manfeild, Circuit Chris Amon.