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Best assessing options following main game snub

ZAK Best is not ruling out leaving Tickford Racing after being overlooked for the #56 Tradie Mustang seat.

It was announced Friday that Super2 Series winner Declan Fraser has been brought in from outside the Campbellfield stable to replace Jake Kostecki in their Repco Supercars Championship squad.

That leaves Best still awaiting a promotion despite his efforts in solo wildcards, co-drives and Super2 over the past couple of seasons.

He was Super2 runner-up to Broc Feeney in 2021 and Fraser last year, and already has a top-tier pole position under his belt.

Tickford CEO Tim Edwards has reassured Best has a bright future but the disappointed 21-year-old openly admits he is now “assessing all options” – including doing Super2, wildcards and/or co-drives elsewhere if need be.

The Benalla product also revealed he doesn’t actually have a confirmed wildcard program for 2023 at this stage, with a co-drive “about all we have got on offer” at Tickford.

“I definitely would have thought what I did in the wildcards and the 1000 the year before, being in the top three fastest co-drivers, would have been enough but winning the championship is obviously everything to team owners and stuff like that,” Best told V8 Sleuth.

Zak Best is the youngest pole-sitter in Repco Supercars Championship history. Pic: Supplied

“So whether we have to go back (to Super2) and do everything we can to win the championship or not, we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

“I’ll be doing absolutely everything I can to get on the (main game) grid in ’24. I feel like by then I should have done enough to earn my spot on the grid.

“I’m just working really hard; it’s effectively an off-season I guess, or a preparation year for a main game debut in ’24.”

Best is also considering competing in categories outside of Supercars this year to maximise his racing mileage.

“I have thought about categories other than just Supercars because miles is the most important thing and Supercars is obviously quite expensive,” he said.

“Any sort of racing at this point is going to be good for me, just to try to get as much seat time as I can to get my name everywhere.”

Tickford’s full season racing roster comprises of Cam Waters, James Courtney, Thomas Randle and Fraser at championship level, plus Brad Vaughan and Elly Morrow in Super2.

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