Best not expecting easy Super2 season

Zak Best Super2

Zak Best. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Zak Best is not expecting an easy time of the 2023 Dunlop Super2 Series season despite being an obvious pre-season favourite and winning Round 1.

In his first event for Anderson Motorsport, the Tickford Racing enduro driver scored a third place and a win to leave Newcastle with an 18-point lead over Cooper Murray.

Best is one of the few reasonably experienced drivers in the 2023 field and, having finished runner-up to a Triple Eight Race Engineering driver for the last two seasons, expectations are high.

However, he agreed that he is still likely to face a stern challenge from the likes of rookies Murray and Ryan Wood, who grabbed the two pole positions on offer at the Newcastle East Street Circuit.

Another challenge, as was demonstrated in both races of Round 1, is navigating the usual Super2 incidents.

“It’s never easy in this championship and obviously it just doesn’t always go everyone’s way,” said Best.

“There’s always going to be carnage in the championship so you’ve just got to be up the front every time you can, and if you’re qualifying on the first two rows you’re doing alright.”

The Victorian spent a shortened 2020 Super2 season in a Kelly Racing Nissan Altima but has largely competed in Supercars in Tickford Racing Fords, specifically an FG Falcon (Project Blueprint), an FG X Falcon, and an S550 Mustang.

This year, however, he is driving an ex-DJR Team Penske S550 Mustang at Michael Anderson’s team.

“They have their differences, obviously,” said Best of the comparison between a Tickford Gen2 Mustang and one from DJRTP.

“Ergonomically, they’re clearly different; they have a different steering wheel and dash set-up and stuff like that, so getting used to the layout inside the car has probably been the biggest challenge for me, just getting used to all the little differences they all have.

“But, handling-wise, they’re relatively very similar, so not miles apart.”

Exactly who Best will partner in this year’s Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 is unconfirmed, although he is thought likely to drive James Courtney’s #5 Mustang.

Before then, Round 2 of Super2 supports the Perth SuperSprint at Wanneroo Raceway on April 28-30.

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