Best returns to Super2 with Anderson Motorsport
Monday 13th February, 2023 - 4:00pm
Zak Best will contest the 2023 Dunlop Super2 Series after all, having inked a deal to race an ex-DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang with Anderson Motorsport.
The 21-year-old finished runner-up in the 2021 and 2022 Super2 Series at Tickford Racing, which has announced that it will field Elly Morrow and a former Anderson driver in Brad Vaughan in the second tier this year.
Nevertheless, Best will be on the grid for a fourth season in the competition, this time with Michael Anderson’s team in DJRTP05, the former Fabian Coulthard machine which began life in 2018 as an FGX Falcon before being upgraded to S550 Mustang spec.
“Everyone thinks it’s beneficial to do another year and stay relevant, basically, and keep driving Supercars,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“You’re still at the right tracks that the main game are at and I feel like it’s probably more beneficial than running around doing TA2 because you’re not actually on the Supercar calendar.”
Tickford had announced that it had retained Best for 2023, in a then-unspecified programme, despite filling up its Super2 team with other talents.
While it then also signed Declan Fraser for its Repco Supercars Championship effort when it parted ways with Jake Kostecki, it is understood that ties with Best have not necessarily been cut.
The Benalla native’s latest Super2 deal is also an eye-catching development given two of his rivals from recent years, namely Tyler Everingham and Jaylyn Robotham, have opted to switched to the TA2-based National Trans Am Series.
Everingham suggested that the style required to handle a TA2 car is more compatible with that needed for Gen3 Supercars machinery, which have had downforce slashed by more than 60 percent relative to Gen2.
Best, who is already a pole-sitter in a Gen2 Mustang, has a different take.
“I think the main difference is they’re only H-pattern, whereas you’ve still got the whole braking technique and everything in the Gen2 cars and rollbars and stuff like that; the same principles apply,” he reasoned.
“It’s just you just got to re-think your mind and change how you drive a little bit with the aero, but you do a few laps and you’ll get your head around it and I think you’ll be right.
“Once I’ve done a test day in the Gen3 car and when you’re actually doing double duty, it’s not going to be too bad. I think you just have to be mindful of less aero when you’re in the car.”
Best finished second to Broc Feeney in Super2 in 2021 and to Fraser, also a Triple Eight driver at the time, in 2022, with both landing Supercars Championship seats of their own for the following campaign.
“I think, this year, there’s more hunger than ever to win it given the last two guys that have won it have been promoted to main game,” he noted.
“Obviously, main game’s where I want to be but if I win the Super2 championship, I think there’s no reason why I can’t move up.
“There’s a lot of fire in the belly at the moment just to win the Super2 championship and Michael [Anderson, team owner] feels the same way; he wants to go out there and win and prove a point.”
Anderson said, “We’ve got the best driver who should have been in the main game this year, and we’re here to win it.”
Best will drive the former Gen2 Mustang which Anderson bought with the intent originally of himself driving in a wildcard entry in last year’s Bathurst 1000, only to be denied a Superlicence in controversial circumstances.
The car arrived at Winton today sporting the retro livery which Dick Johnson Racing ran in last year’s Bathurst 1000 and while that look will be replaced with new hues before the season starts, it will retain the #17 plate for racing in Super2.
Anderson Motorsport, which has blooded the likes of Fraser and Jayden Ojeda in Super3, is set to test at the Victorian circuit tomorrow, with the 2023 Super2 season kicking off at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on March 10-12.
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