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Best to Anderson Motorsport in ex-DJR Mustang

ZAK Best has secured a late deal to challenge for the 2023 Dunlop Super2 Series title following a rollercoaster couple of months.

His latest campaign will come outside of the Tickford Racing camp, in an ex-Dick Johnson Racing Mustang run by Anderson Motorsport.

That is by no means an indication that he has cut ties with the Campbellfield squad, though.

Best, the second-tier runner-up to Broc Feeney in 2021 and Declan Fraser last year, was retained by Tickford despite the team having no room for him in either its main game or Super2 roster.

That made a continuation of his wildcard/co-drive program the obvious solution, with a view to a 2024 Repco Supercars Championship seat.

However, in the wake of being overlooked in favour of Fraser for the #56 Tradie Mustang vacated by Jake Kostecki last month – plus revelations that another solo wildcard is not so certain – Best expressed frustration and suggested he’ll explore his options.

That has led him to Bathurst-based privateers Anderson Motorsport.

Best with the #17 Mustang which appears in the retro livery Dick Johnson Racing ran at the 2022 Bathurst 1000. Pic: Supplied

“Obviously the title is the main goal and driving with Anderson Motorsport, Michael has got the same ambitions,” Best told V8 Sleuth. “Winning the championship is the main goal for both of us.

“I’m just sick of coming second, it’s twice now, so we just need to go one better and prove to everyone that I deserve a seat in the main game.”

Instantly, Best is a title favourite, especially given many of his 2022 rivals are not returning.

Fraser, Matt Payne and Cameron Hill have all graduated to the Repco Supercars Championship, while Tyler Everingham and Jaylyn Robotham have switched to Trans Am.

“I just think it’s about trying to be more consistent and just making sure we’re up there for qualifying every time and doing all of the one-percenters right, like just getting off the line,” said Best.

“That’s where I lost a few races last year.”

The Anderson deal will pit Best directly against Tickford and its two drivers Brad Vaughan and Elly Morrow.

Coincidentally, Vaughan graduates to Super2 having won the 2022 Super3 Series title with Anderson Motorsport.

Pic: Supplied

Best is still expected to co-drive for Tickford at this year’s Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000.

“I’m racing against them but the relationship is still pretty much the same, I’m still with the team and everything like that,” he said.

“I’ll just be kinder to the Tickford cars I think.”

Best last year became the youngster polesitter in Supercars Championship history, courtesy of a spectacular if controversial qualifying session in a Tailem Bend wildcard appearance.

The Benalla product now is the latest young gun to work with Anderson, following the likes of Fraser, Everingham, Vaughan and Jayden Ojeda.

“We’ve had a good run with everyone that we’ve ever decided to put in one of our cars and I think this year is going to be no different,” Anderson told V8 Sleuth.

“Zak is someone who obviously has got the runs on the board and he’s a very capable driver.

“I think he should be in the main game but the next best thing is to have him in our car and we know we have got a brilliant car, so we’ll make the most of it.”

At least 19 cars are expected for the Super2 season-opener in Newcastle.

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