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The latest on Zak Best’s plans

IT has been a school of hard knocks for Zak Best, but the Benalla boy remains ready to graduate.

For the second successive off-season, Best was overlooked for the final spot on the Repco Supercars Championship grid, despite being a perennial Super2 frontrunner.

For 2023, Tickford Racing opted to draft in Triple Eight Super2 champion Declan Fraser to replace Jake Kostecki over promoting Best.

Twelve months later, Best was the hot favourite to succeed Jack Smith in the Brad Jones Racing SCT seat, only to be pipped at the post by Jaxon Evans.

Now into race week for the Thrifty Bathurst 500, Best will not be in a Supercar at Mount Panorama in either the main game or Super2.

He’s also yet to secure a co-drive for this year’s enduros.

STATE OF PLAY: 2024 Supercars co-driver field

It’s prompted questions from fans: what has happened to Zak Best?

“I’ve come second three times and done four years now,” he told V8 Sleuth of Super2, which he will no longer pursue.

“I feel like the apprenticeship is done and I’m ready to graduate, I guess.

“I’m still working on a co-drive at the moment. I’ve got closer with that, so hopefully something finalised in the next few weeks.”

The moment Zak Best secured a main game pole position at Tailem Bend in 2022. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

Wildcards aside, Triple Eight, Dick Johnson Racing and Walkinshaw Andretti United’s co-driver rosters are officially full, and that’s also believed to be the case at other teams such as Erebus Motorsport and Tickford.

Best hinted he may stay sharp via a support category campaign, but was otherwise tight-lipped on that matter.

“I’m obviously still pushing to get that promotion for next year,” he added.

“I think I just need to have a really good enduro campaign this year – not that last year’s was bad: sixth at the (Bathurst) 1000 and 12th at Sandown.”

Best and James Courtney wound up third among Ford pairings, and seventh outright, in the unofficial 2023 Enduro Cup standings.

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