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HomeNewsWhy Tickford chose Fraser over Best

Why Tickford chose Fraser over Best

TICKFORD Racing’s decision to recruit Declan Fraser instead of promoting Zak Best from within came down to a whole-of-package assessment.

Tickford has been criticised in some quarters for not elevating Best, who has performed well across co-driver, wildcard and Super2 outings the past two years.

Best himself expressed disappointment at missing out on the #56 main game seat vacated by Jake Kostecki, indicating to V8 Sleuth he’ll now assess his options – potentially involving other teams and categories.

Tickford CEO Tim Edwards has made no secret of his unwavering belief that Best is an excellent talent with a big future at the Ford squad.

However he had stopped short of explaining the Fraser versus Best decision… until now.

“It’s an overall package that we’re looking for in a driver, not just raw speed,” Edwards told V8 Sleuth.

“I think we have got elements of that with Zak but the whole package isn’t there just yet – but we think with some more work we can get him there.”

Asked if he had any concerns that Best may run out of patience and look elsewhere, Edwards replied: “We certainly want to continue working with Zak because we do believe in him and hopefully that’s what will transpire.”

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Best has at least a co-drive on the table with Tickford for the 2023 Sandown 500 and Repco Bathurst 1000, with James Moffat also expected to be retained in the squad’s enduro roster.

In the meantime, Tickford’s four-car main game fleet will be made up of Cam Waters and James Courtney in its lead garage, plus Thomas Randle and Fraser in its adjacent pit bay.

Following a year in which two of its cars finished outside the championship’s top 20, Edwards is keen to see more rounded success this season.

“People quickly forget that in 2019 pre-all the turmoil of COVID and all of that, we finished third and fourth in the teams’ championship,” he said.

“We aim to run four cars competitively; we’ve demonstrated we can do that in the past, we just had some hurdles with changes of drivers partway through COVID and all that sort of stuff that kind of upended us a bit so we lost our way a bit.

“We intend to get back to where we were in 2019.”

Tickford will also field two Gen2 Mustangs in the 2023 Dunlop Super2 Series, for Elly Morrow and Brad Vaughan.

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