Tate Bishop Superb at Killarney National Despite Setback
The second round of the South African Maxterino and Mini Max Championships was a sizzling spectacle this past Saturday, quite fittingly considering the temperatures were in excess of 37 degrees Celsius. Tate Bishop came into this round leading the Maxterino Championship and looking for some more solid points in Mini Max after some superb regional drives in the past weeks.
Kicking things off with Maxterino, Tate put in a fantastic lap during Friday’s super pole qualifying session clocking a 47.425 to put him top of the time sheets for a pole start come race 1 the following day. After a turn 1 red flag and subsequent restart Tate grabbed the whole shot to lead out of Turn 1 and that was all she wrote. Tate checked out as no one even had a sniff. The rest of the field battled it out for P2 while Tate cruised home to a comfortable 1st place by almost 5 seconds.
Race 2 proved to be somewhat challenging, when after a fantastic start, Tate got tagged by a few karts and subsequently while exiting Golf Club on lap 3, succumbed to some issue he clearly picked during the lap 1 contact. It all looked glum for the current championship leader until a red flag on lap 6 halted the proceedings and allowed Bishop back onto the grid for the restart. What followed, albeit in vain, was quite magnificent. Starting stone last, Tate carved his way through the field to snatch a fine 3rd place. Unfortunately, due to the lost laps earlier on, he would finish 4 laps down come the checkered flag. But still a superb drive and testament to this young mans commitment.
Starting Race 3 in P2, it was line astern into the first corner. A dog fight ensued with Denis Joubert and after contact between the two in turn 2, Tate cam off second best dropping down to 5th. Tate put his head down to work his way back to 2nd with a fantastic double overtake in Turn 1. With the lead chopping and changing Tate managed to reclaim top spot and subsequently put the hammer down to check out and take another fine win.
Rotax Mini Max
Duel duties for the day saw Tate challenging in the Rotax Mini Max class and after a quite superb qualifying effort on Friday afternoon, Tate would start race 1 from the second row in P3. After a steady start to race 1, Tate then made a great move to snatch second place and held out to the checkered flag for by far his best showing in a Mini Max kart to date.
Heat 2 was again a sound effort from Tate, after getting mugged at the start Tate quickly climbed to 3rd. A fine pass on fellow Capetonian Kai van Zijl saw him into second and with some consistent laps to the whitewash, another well deserved 2nd.
The 3rd and final race of the day saw Tate starting from P2. A tough start saw Tate drop down the order but he turned up the heat and fought back to a fine 3rd place to take on overall 2nd for the day and a solid bag of points.
“A great Tate masterclass against the best in the country at the SA National Maxterino today. He was incredible. A win, then a break down (so last dammit!) and then another win (so only third for the day overall) but extending his lead in The SA national championship” commented father and biggest supporter Tim Bishop post race.
Tate now looks forward to the 4th round of the WPMC Regional Championship on 20 May and then off to Idube Race Track in KZN for the 3rd and penultimate round of the National Championships.