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Kaleb Ngatoa called up to S5000 to replace hospitalised ex-F1 driver

Rising Kiwi motorsport star Kaleb Ngatoa has been called up to replace ex-Formula 1 driver Roberto Merhi in the S5000 category at this weekend’s Adelaide 500.

The 22-year-old from Marton, New Zealand, is a proven winner in the S5000 category having won three races during his time in the category in 2021/22. Ngatoa will race on the undercard of the Supercars Championship finale around the infamously gruelling Adelaide Street Circuit.

“I’m really excited to be jumping on the plane and heading to Adelaide,” said Ngatoa.

“It’s disappointing for Roberto that he’s unable to race this weekend, but I’m certainly keen to make the most of this opportunity.

“These cars are absolute weapons and the Adelaide street circuit is next level so I’m very thankful that Team BRM have trusted me to deliver for them in Roberto’s absence.”

Ngatoa recently enjoyed success in the Formula Regional Oceania Championship during his two cameo appearances earlier this year when he won his first race of the season.

The S5000 Championship is Australia’s premier single-seater racing championship. Regularly attracting international drivers of the highest calibre, the S5000 Championship is a sound proving ground for aspiring racers to not only hone their skills but showcase their ability.

Ngatoa’s S5000 qualifying and three races can be watched live on Sky Sport 5. Qualifying takes place at 12:25pm NZT on Saturday with Race 1 at 4:45pm NZT. Race 2 takes place on Saturday at 1:15pm NZT with Race 3 on Sunday at 11:00am NZT.

Ngatoa was set to race in the third round of the GVI Formula Open Series at Taupõ International Motorsport Park. Having been called up to Adelaide, Ngatoa will hand the keys to his DB4 Swift to four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy.

“I wish Greg all the best for Taupõ. I know he’ll enjoy it and do a great job and I’m looking forward to jumping back in the Swift for the rest of the Formula Open Series when I’m back.”

Supporting Ngatoa’s S5000 appearance are J.A. Russell, GVI and 88 Racing.

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