A test on Monday at Winton will play a key role in the revitalisation of form for Brad Jones Racing, predicts Jason Bright.
The Team BOC Holden Commodore VF driver is determined to recapture the pace that saw him claim two race wins and three ARMOR ALL Pole Positions in the first 11 races of the season. Since then he has struggled in qualifying and as a result, rarely threatened the top five finishing positions.
Testing the Car of the Future is proving to be a crucial step in the development process for teams as they unlock more speed from their new racers and Bright and BJR teammate Fabian Coulthard (Lockwood Racing) have been shuffled down the field as other operations conduct successful sessions.
Coulthard, who has three wins and two poles in 2013, runs fifth in the Championship and Bright is sixth.
“You don’t have to be much off the pace in qualifying to drop back a chunk of positions, but I am sure we will get that back,” Bright told v8supercars.com.au.
The small Albury team was seen to be punching above its weight early in the year with its consistent front-running results, but Bright says BJR will return to its race-winning ways.
“We have got good people and I think it’s just a case that the last couple of tracks might not have suited us as well as the ones earlier in the year, and everyone is developing these cars at a very high rate.
“We still have more to come than any other team out there.”
Bright was part of a major BJR test on July 16, but a sensor issue that took hours to sort out meant he and engineer Andrew Edwards couldn’t get through much of their plan for the day.
It’s something they intend to address on Monday.
“We have a list a mile long of things we want to try at the test day and I am sure we will find some little bits and pieces which is all you need.”
Bright says he is confident of the car’s race pace, but there is a need to be closer to the front in qualifying. He also had been concerned about his starts, but felt they had improved after last month’s test.
“I am much happier with where we are with the starts compared to a couple of rounds ago but … it has been frustrating that we haven’t qualified as well as we did earlier in the season. Maybe it’s the way the cars have developed this year, or guys are getting a lot more out of the green tyre than what they were earlier in the year.
“But our race pace is still very good. In the last round at Queensland Raceway my race pace was easily in the top three if not the best, but we were coming from so far back you can only do so much.”
BJR and Bright will get an almost immediate indication of how successful the test has been because they head back to their test track on August 23-25 for the Winton 360.
The northern Victorian circuit is a place where Bright has a long and successful history, including scoring BJR’s second V8 Supercars Championship race win in 2011. He also swept all three races there in 2002 when driving for the Holden Racing Team.
“Winton has been good to me over the years. I think I have won more races there than at any other track. I am looking forward to getting there and I think it is a round where we should be sable to peg back some points. I am confident we will come out of there feeling a bit better about our pace.”