Tickford Racing still has “strong belief” in Zak Best despite the team signing Declan Fraser, says boss Tim Edwards.
Tickford announced on Friday that Fraser will replace Jake Kostecki in the #56 TRADIE Ford for 2023.
Fraser and Best — who has been with Tickford since 2021 — battled for the 2022 Super2 title.
The former won the title and ultimately the Tickford vacancy.
The Benalla-born driver made his main game debut with Tickford in the 2021 Bathurst 1000.
Prior to his second Bathurst start last year, Best made headlines when he scored a shock position in his Tailem Bend wildcard appearance.
Tickford has affirmed its role in developing Best, which includes more main game racing opportunities in 2023.
At the very least, Best can be expected to feature for Tickford in the 2023 enduros, which includes Sandown again, along with further wildcard appearances.
“We are working on a plan with Zak,” Edwards said.
“Our goal, absolutely, is to position him for success in the main game.
“We certainly see a bright future for him in this category.
"We have a strong belief in Zak’s potential, and intend to work with him very closely in 2023 to continue preparing him to fulfill that potential.”
Best will not return to Super2 in 2023, with Tickford expanding to two cars with Brad Vaughan and Elly Morrow.
Vaughan is the reigning Super3 champion, with Morrow shifting from Brad Jones Racing.
'We certainly see a bright future for him'
Fraser’s signing ensures Tickford has three Super2 champions in its line-up, alongside Cam Waters (2015 champion) and Thomas Randle (2020).
Edwards touched on the irony of Fraser’s signing, given his battle with Best last year.
“It’s funny how things work,” Edwards said.
“We went into Adelaide trying to beat Declan in Super2, and here we are a few weeks later preparing him to suit up with us in the main game for 2023.
“This sport works in strange ways sometimes, but Declan has all the qualities you look for in a young driver, so we are excited to work with him and are confident he will do a fine job for the team.
“We are very enthusiastic about having him on board and are looking forward to getting him behind the wheel of the TRADIE Ford Mustang in a few short weeks."
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will commence in Newcastle on March 10-12.
Tickets are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.