This past weekend saw the 4th and final round of the South Africa ROK Cup Championship take place at the Celso Scribante Kart Circuit in the Eastern Cape. Tate Bishop was out to continue his challenge in the MSA Academy Class after a series of positive results at the previous 3 rounds.
Saturday morning’s qualifying saw less than a second separating the entire field of MSA Academy drivers. Tate put in a more than decent lap to secure a second row start for the first race. The front row was taken up by Kwanda Mokoena and current MSA Academy Champion Joshua Coetrze while Daniele Patrizi joined Tate on row 2.
After dropping down to 6th in race 1, Tate fought back with immense determination to make his way up to second and miss out on the win by a mere tenth of a second. In race 2 he maintained his P3 at the start and held station to the checkered flag and in the final race of the day, while running in P2, Tate was hit from behind and went spinning off into the tyres leaving him to crawl home in P7 which was enough to secure a more than respectable 3rd overall on the day.
“I had an amazing weekend. I had not been to PE for many years, and only in a tiny kart but I quickly managed to get to grips with the track and was always in the top 3 fastest all weekend and never too far away from current MSA Champion and local Josh Coertze.
At PE it is all about looking after your tyres as the track is so abrasive, and starting with a couple of great race results giving me a 2nd and a 3rd I was determined to win the last race and try and finish in front of Daniele Patrizi to snatch third overall in the Championship with only one point in it between us, but after a great start and entering turn 1 in second place, I was hit from the back and sent spinning off into the tyres pretty much ruining the final race, but I crawled back to 7th, enough to give us 3rd overall for the day.
MSA Academy has been an amazing experience in my first year of adult-size karts and despite some setbacks, I think we have put in some very good results. We have two more events to go at VTown and Zwartkops so I am looking forward to those and will be starting to push for wins in preparation for trying to win the MSA European seat next year. The class is so tight, we all swap engines after a race and we are still within hundredths of each other, I love that this is all about the driver and not the engine so I am really enjoying racing against the best in the country on equal terms.” – Commented a chuffed Tate at the end of the day.
Tate now looks forward to getting back into his Rotax Junior Max Kart this coming weekend where he continues to fight it out in the WP Regional Championship.