Contact costly

By Meg Saultry

History repeated itself for Benalla racecar driver Zak Best on Sunday, after the teen failed to finish the final race of round three of the Kumho Super3 series after contact with a fellow competitor caused damage to his car.

The scenes at Queensland Raceway were eerily similar to Best’s misfortunes in round two of the series at Winton Raceway in May, in which his car stopped midway through the third race to end the weekend prematurely after earlier race wins.

Best had been displaying similar dominance in Ipswich, easily crossing the line to take out the first two races.

But after making contact with rival Broc Feeney’s car in the first lap of the final race, Best was again denied the chance to finish a race worth nearly double points and challenge for the round win.

‘‘My car made contact a couple of times and at turn four I saw my steering arm was bent,’’ Best said.

‘‘I came in to the pits, but we couldn’t fix it in time, so I had to retire.’’

Jayden Ojeda was able to capitalise on Best’s misfortune to take out the final race and wrap up his second round victory after also claiming Winton.

Best’s weekend started on a more positive note, with the teen claiming 83 points — 40 for each race win and a bonus three points for starting pole position — to return to the top of the championship leader board ahead of the final race.

‘‘It was good to get back on top,’’ Best said.

‘‘(The first two races) I got a good start and was able to lead from the start.

‘‘I put my head down and had a big gap.’’

And in another exciting prospect for the racer, Best also released his new merchandise with Fobia Industries throughout the event.

‘‘We’ve been working to finish it for a while,’’ Best said.

‘‘Jason (Adams) has done a good job to get it all together.’’

But despite the bright start to the Queensland event, Best was clearly disappointed with the way his past two rounds had ended.

‘‘It was not a good way to end the weekend,’’ Best said.

‘‘It hasn’t been a bad start (this year), but not finishing those races is making it tougher in the championship.

‘‘Those are double point races.’’

Best finished the round in fourth place for the championship, but is still very much in the mix, trailing leader Feeney by a mere 49 points.

And the teen has looked dominant in most of his events this season, having won five out of a possible nine races, and claiming the first round in Phillip Island in April.

The fourth round of the championship — which consists of five — will be contested at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia in late August, with Best keen to translate his dominance into a round victory.

‘‘Last year was the first year we raced there,’’ Best said.

‘‘I was able to get the lap record.

‘‘It’s a good track for us.’’