Tickford won’t stand in Best’s way for Supercars opportunity

Zak Best

Tim Edwards won’t hold back Tickford Racing protege Zak Best should a main game opportunity crop up at another Supercars team.

Cameron Waters, James Courtney, and Jake Kostecki are all believed to be on multi-year deals that would see them remain at Tickford into the 2023 season.

The team’s final seat is currently occupied by Thomas Randle, who has enjoyed a recent upturn in qualifying form.

Should Randle’s place on the grid for another campaign in the Castrol Racing Mustang be confirmed, it would lock out the four Tickford main game seats.

UPDATE: Randle confirmed at Tickford for 2023 Supercars season

Team Principal, Edwards, believes Best showed he has what it takes to be in Supercars after a stellar performance at The Bend as a solo wildcard.

However, the team’s Dunlop Super2 Series up-and-comer may have to look elsewhere if he is to be in the main game field in 2023.

Edwards wouldn’t delve into the likelihood of a seat opening up for Best at Tickford, but suggested he wouldn’t stand in the way should the Benalla native get an offer from another team.

“You’ve seen what we have done in the past, we loaned Chaz [Mostert] out to DJR when he was on contract to us,” Edwards told Speedcafe.com.

“You never say never, but the other thing is you never stand in the way.

“I won’t stop somebody’s career.

“You saw in 2016, Garry Jacobson and Jack Le Brocq finished first and second in Super2 and they stood there ready to do main series [the] next year but we didn’t have a berth.

“Sometimes the opportunities don’t always come up; you’ve got to make your best endeavours to build for the future but also you can’t always accommodate.

“The stars sometimes just don’t all align at the exact time for you; we’ve faced these different scenarios over the years and one way or another you work through it.”

Asked whether the priority would still be to keep Best at Tickford if there’s an open seat, Edwards responded: “That’s what you build for, correct.”

As alluded to, this is a dilemma the team has faced on multiple occasions in the past.

While it’s in the team’s best interest to keep a driver it has invested in within the organisation, Edwards says the bigger picture of the sport is more important.

“Ideally you’re growing [a driver] for your own use, that’s always been the goal,” he added.

“No different to 2013 with Chaz, we just didn’t have a seat, I had Frosty and Will in the two seats in 2013 and I didn’t have a seat for Chaz.

“So we helped facilitate the drive at DJR; we still felt we’ve created this beast, so to speak, so there’s a bit of pride in that.

“Of course you’re trying to do it for your own self interest, but the stars don’t always align; that’s happened on more than one occasion over the last decade.

“That doesn’t stop you trying to grow the talent, somebody has got to find the next Cam Waters and that’s why we’ve always invested in trying to find future talent.”

A number of seats are still up in the air on the 2023 Supercars driver market, with potential opportunities at Team 18, Brad Jones Racing, PremiAir Racing, and Blanchard Racing Team.

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