IT’S fair to say Zak Best got less than he bargained for from a weekend of double duties at Mount Panorama.
The Tickford Racing protégé entered the Repco Bathurst 1000 anticipating a pair of 18-lap Super2 races to precede the 161-lap main event, for which he was co-driving the #55 Castrol Mustang with Thomas Randle.
What eventuated was “odd”, to use his own words.
“I did three-and-a-half racing laps for the weekend, won a round, and then didn’t really get far in the 1000,” Best told V8 Sleuth.
The opening Super2 race on Friday was predominantly run behind the Safety Car, Best taking the win after starting on pole.
The second and final leg was washed out by a heavy Saturday afternoon downpour, inhibiting his ability to further eat into Declan Fraser’s series lead, which stands at 75 points with just the Adelaide finale to come.
Then Best’s Bathurst 1000 was over in a matter of seconds, incurring race-ending damage while avoiding carnage on Mountain Straight.
“Obviously to see everyone else tangling up with each other, we were just an innocent bystander,” recalled the man who turned 21 on Tuesday.
“I tried to go through the middle of them but then the cars rolled back and there was nowhere to go. Who knows what could have been.
“I feel like we had a strong car, I just didn’t get to show it obviously because we didn’t do the laps.
“It’s frustrating but really nothing we could do. We’ll go again next year, as they all say.”
Best, the youngest pole-sitter in Repco Supercars Championship history, is still a chance to graduate to the main game next year.
Whether there is any potential of that happening within the Tickford system remains to be seen; otherwise he’s a chance at Matt Stone Racing, which has committed to replacing Todd Hazelwood with a rookie.
“Anything can happen really,” said Best.
“You’ve seen strange things happen in the past with drivers signed and stuff like that.
“I’ll be racing something somewhere, I just don’t know what.”
Fraser is among his chief rivals for the MSR gig.