Benalla Ensign


- By Liam Nash

The time is nigh for Benalla’s Zak Best to change lanes into the big league.

On Monday it was confirmed the 20-year-old will hit the track for the Repco Bathurst 1000 in December, joining fellow Tickford Racing member Jack Le Brocq in the Truck Assist Mustang for the race of all races.

It will mark Best’s debut appearance in the Supercars after starring in the Super2 Series this year.

The Benalla talent replaces internatio­nal co-driver Alex Premat at Bathurst, who misses the event for the second consecutiv­e year due to COVID-19 travel restrictio­ns.

Tickford Racing team boss Tim Edwards said the appointmen­t spoke volumes of Best’s ability, and stated it was the perfect occasion for the ‘Benalla Bullet’ to step up.

“Zak’s done a fantastic job for us,” Edwards said.

“He won the last Super2 race at Townsville, he's a very safe set of hands, so he'll be joining Jack.

“It's the right time for Zak, particular­ly after him demonstrat­ing how well he can drive in Townsville, with Broc on his bumper. I think that why he's in this role.”

In his debut season with Tickford, Best flew up the Super2 ranks to bypass series leader Broc Feeney to claim a maiden pole in Townsville.

Edwards indicated this did not go unnoticed, and when told the news of his promotion, it was clear the 20-yearold was over the moon.

“I said to someone after I got on the phone and told him [Best], he never really shares that much emotion, but I could just about hear him hollering and doing cartwheels when I told him,” Edwards said.

“He wanted to get off the phone pretty quick because I think he was desperate to run inside and tell his parents, who have been big supporters of his to get him this far.

“He's doing a great job. He has a very similar Supercars pedigree as Broc [Feeney].”

Best will compete in the final Super2 Series round in Eastern Creek on November 19-21 before stepping into the Mustang for an almighty Bathurst showdown.

And you can bet he knows the magnitude of the situation.

“I’m obviously really excited to be stepping up to make my main game debut at Bathurst with Jack,” Best said.

“I’m still sort of pinching myself realising I’m going to race in the Bathurst 1000.

“We’ve had a pretty strong year in Super2 so far and I’m feeling really comfortabl­e in the team, and I’m really thankful to the team for seeing that and giving me the opportunit­y.

“It’ll be a big week racing both in Super2 and the ‘1000’, but I can’t wait for it.”

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