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Tate Bishop, a Global Touring Cars (GTC) SupaCup rookie, faced a tough race weekend at Zwartkops Raceway. Despite feeling confident ahead of the third round of the championship, the ANGRi Racing driver arguably encountered his most challenging weekend yet since taking to main circuit racing.

The multiple national karting champion and ANGRi Racing Kart Academy instructor displayed much confidence by consistently ranking in the top half of the time sheets during Friday’s three practice sessions. Ahead of the Pretoria round, some changes were made, including enlisting the services of Lee Thompson Racing and moving the racecar to Zwartkops Raceway.

Bishop’s hopes of maintaining his Friday pace were dashed during the qualifying on Saturday. After his first qualifying run, he reduced his speed to allow the engine and brakes to cool before making a second attempt to improve his time. His attempt to better his time was, however, interrupted by a red flag and as a result, he ended up in eighth place on the time sheets. To further exacerbate matters Bishop received a six-place penalty that forced him to the back of the grid.

Bishop, a Sparco brand ambassador, aimed to gain as many positions as possible in the opening race but soon discovered that the car was not performing optimally due to increased engine temperatures. Despite having everything to gain and nothing to lose, his efforts were hindered by the car’s inferior performance, which made passing nearly impossible. Upon inspection after the race, it was discovered that a defective water pump caused the problem. Bishop finished 11th.

Race 2 saw Bishop put in a spirited performance from the rear of the grid, making several assured passes to move up the order to head up the battle for eighth. An incident later in the race would see him move up another position to cross the finish line in seventh. Due to a post-race penalty given to a competitor ahead, he was promoted to sixth place.

“Certainly not the Saturday I was expecting after a solid day out yesterday,” said Bishop. “Qualifying didn’t work out well for us, and then in the opening race, I battled to stay ahead of the last runner. The car was underpowered and overheating which obviously hampers the car’s performance. We later found it to be a water-pump issue. While I made up a few places in Race 2, our weekend could have been more promising. It’s just been one of those race weekends you’d rather forget. But I won’t let it knock me down. We’ll be back.”

Bishop extends his thanks to Sparco and the Lee Thompson Racing team.

The GTC SupaCup Championship’s fourth round will occur on 16-17 June at the Aldo Scribante Racetrack in Gqeberha.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix

Picture Caption: Tate Bishop

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