Sport | Japan

Rain the winner for Kaleb Ngatoa's Japanese debut

Kaleb Nagoya was in fourth spot on the starting grid for his first race of the Japanese championship.  Formula Regional Japanese Championship / YouTube

Rain was the winner in Kaleb Ngatoa's (Te Ātihaunui a Pāpārangi) formula regional Japanese championship debut last weekend. 

The 21-year-old racing for the first time in Japan - in the city of Suzuka, 50km southwest of Nagoya - was heavily impacted by rain at Sunday's race meet.

The first of two scheduled races was washed out by torrential rain in the morning and saw qualifying results determine the finishing order, a report says.

Drivers were awarded half-points with Ngatoa credited with fourth place in a field of seven, behind Japan's Kazuki Oki in pole position and Sota Ogawa in second, with fellow Kiwi Liam Sceats third.

Weather conditions improved slightly for race two, however, just one full lap was completed under the green flag in the afternoon's race.

Third fastest in qualifying, Ngatoa initially failed to get off the line when the lights went green but charged back up to fourth before spinning out and becoming stranded in gravel, velocity news says.

The field followed the safety car for several laps under caution but rain worsened and the race was abandoned, with half points awarded once again.

The Japanese championship resumes on 10-11 June at Okayama.