Kaleb Ngatoa says he was fortunate to spend time doing driver training with Shane van Gisbergen last week.
Ngatoa and van Gisbergen hit the Norwell Motorplex for a few days of one-on-one training in the build-up to the final round of the S5000 series last weekend.
The two briefly raced head-to-head in this year’s New Zealand Grand Prix at Hampton Downs. Ngatoa claimed a stunning pole position in a wet qualifying for the main event.
A text message exchange between the pair then led to van Gisbergen offering to coach Ngatoa over a few days at the Queensland complex.
In a Q and A video with Supercars, Ngatoa described the experience as ‘incredible,’ and suggests he learnt some valuable lessons from his Kiwi compatriot.
“I am very lucky to have someone like SVG helping me out a bit now,” Ngatoa said.
“I raced him in the New Zealand Grand Prix, and being a Kiwi he has been very welcoming.
“He just sent me a text and said, ‘would you like to come out and do some driver trainer at Norwell?’
“And I have loved it. Shane has been an awesome mentor, teaching me some things I have never thought about in a race car.
“Even just to do some hot laps with him was amazing. The way he drives and makes the car does what he wants it to do is incredible.”
Ngatoa says that he and Shane developed a friendly relationship, which made the training sessions more enjoyable.
“We just spoke like we were mates – two guys that race and like the thrill of it,” he said.
“[Shane] is straight up and straight forward. He will tell you what you are doing wrong and what you are doing right. But I think that is the best way to teach.
“He sends it really hard. He is always on the limit.
“So, for him to push me all the way to that limit was really good and we did it in a really cool way.”
Ngatoa claimed his second win of his rookie year at Sydney Motorsport Park and finished the season ninth in the standings.