Zak Best’s debut in the Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series could barely have been better.
Held at Phillip Island during the weekend, 16-year-old Best finished second outright for the round-opener behind defending champion Jack Smith.
Best’s teammate Tyler Everingham took third.
In the lead up to the event the Benalla youngster got his first taste of what it was like to drive the MW Motorsport V8 FG Falcon.
The practice round gave Best a chance to get used to the car before racing.
On Saturday he qualified third in the Falcon. Bogged down at the line in race one dropped him back in the field to 12th on the opening lap.
Best picked his way through the field to finish fourth.
The second nine-lap race, Best slotted into position six for the first few corners, before beginning making his way through the field to finish second after a battle with Ryal Harris.
A post race 20-second penalty was handed down to Jack Smith for excessive tyre warming on his approach to the grid, which put Best atop the results sheet and gave him his first victory in the series for MW Motorsport.
‘‘I was pretty happy about just getting it off the line and finishing second, it wasn’t until an official presented me with the winners sticker that I became aware,’’ Best said after the race.
MW Motorsport teammate and Shepparton local Garry Jacobson talked data with Best on Saturday.
‘‘It was fantastic to run through data and talk to Garry after the sessions, I learnt so much from him,’’ Best said.
‘‘I’m very grateful for his assistance, guidance and the valuable time he gave me.’’
Sunday’s racing saw Best lead the field in the finale until defending champion Smith overtook in the eighth lap. Best continued on with a broken front swaybar, as Smith took the chequered flag ahead of Best.
“Without the fantastic support I have received... I wouldn’t have the opportunity to compete in my first V8 Touring event,’’ Best said.
‘‘We are working to try and pull together a budget for the remaining 2018 season. We would welcome anyone who would like to come involved as partner.’’
The series’ next round will be contested at the V8 Supercars Winton SuperSprint event at Winton Motor Raceway from May 20 to 28.
●Sponsorship or partnership questions can be emailed to [email protected] or phone 0428428578.