The highs and lows of Bright's career

  • 19/11/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Supercars.com takes a year-by-year look back at the highs and lows of Jason Bright's Supercars career.

1997

1997: Garry Rogers Motorsport, Alan Jones Racing

During a title-winning Australian Drivers’ Championship campaign, Bright made a surprise Supercars debut with Garry Rogers Motorsport at Symmons Plains.

Subbing for Steven Richards, who had a Super Touring commitment that weekend, a 24-year-old Bright impressed in wet conditions, scoring a pair of top 10 finishes.

He swapped to Alan Jones Racing for the enduros, recording a podium at Sandown with Jones before acting as the third driver at Bathurst when American Scott Pruett joined the team.

BATHURST AUSTRALIA 15/11/98: Australian drivers Jason Bright(left) and team mate Steven Richards celebrate after driving there Pirtek Ford Falcon to victory during the FAI 1000 at Bathurst today. Pic Mark Horsburgh

1998: Stone Brothers Racing

Bright earned a full-time call-up when the Stone brothers took over Jones’ team for 1998, finishing ninth in the championship.

He showed flashes of speed through the year, including pole at Hidden Valley, before rebounding from a practice crash to win Bathurst alongside Richards.

1999

1999: Stone Brothers Racing

Continued to establish himself and SBR as a Supercars force, taking maiden championship race and round wins at Hidden Valley – the only round triumph for Ford’s new AU that season.

Ended up eighth in the final standings after failing to finish the Queensland 500 and Bathurst 1000, before heading to the United States for a season of Indy Lights.

Jason Bright gets comfortable behind the wheel of the Shell Helix Racing AU Falcon.  Bright will join Paul Radisich, Steve Johnson and Cameron McLean for this year's FAI 1000 at Bathurst.

2000: Dick Johnson Racing

While a one-off Champ Car start on the Gold Coast proved the highlight of Bright’s 2000 season, he made time for a single Supercars outing at Bathurst with Dick Johnson Racing.

Teamed with Paul Radisich, it was a near perfect score, with the duo finishing second – just 2.4s adrift of the winning GRM Holden.

2001

2001: Holden Racing Team

With a lack of funds preventing a continuation of his US journey, Bright made a high-profile return to Australia, stepping into the Holden Racing Team Commodore vacated by Craig Lowndes.

He scored a big early win at the Adelaide 500 and ended the season a career-best third in points after a further eight top-three race results.

2002

2002: Holden Racing Team

A second season with the HRT yielded four race wins, including round success at both Barbagallo and Winton, on the way to fourth in points.

Bright found himself overshadowed, however, by team-mate Skaife who, with the team very much moulded around him, dominated to take Bathurst and the title.

2003

2003: Paul Weel Racing/Team Brock

Bright moved to Paul Weel Racing for 2003, which was branded Team Brock and initially ran as a third team at Clayton alongside HRT and K-Mart Racing.

Amid drama over parent Tom Walkinshaw Racing’s collapse, Bright won in his second start with the team at Albert Park and finished fourth in points, having led for a period early on.

2004

2004: Paul Weel Racing

Like his second year at HRT, the second time around with PWR netted four race wins, two round wins and third in points.

The highlight came in New Zealand, where Bright ended local hero Greg Murphy’s unbeaten run of Pukekohe round wins from the previous three seasons.

2005

2005: Ford Performance Racing

Bright moved to FPR for 2005 under a deal with Ford that included the manufacturer backing the establishment of Britek Motorsport as its own two-car operation.

Again replacing Lowndes, who had finished just 20th in FPR’s horror 2004 season, Bright was ninth in points and without a podium in what was very much a building year.

V8 Supercar Championship Round 8 Sandown, Australia. V8 Supercar drivers Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bright  WIN  round 8 of the V8 Supercar championship being held this weekend at Sandown International Raceway Melbourne, Australia.

2006: Ford Performance Racing

FPR hit its straps in 2006 with Bright and new signing Mark Winterbottom, who combined to win the Sandown 500.

Bright also won at Winton, Hidden Valley, Symmons Plains and Bahrain to end the year fifth in points, and had been leading early at Bathurst before engine trouble struck.

2007

2007: Britek Motorsport

Switching across to his own team for 2007, Bright’s results took a major dive, finishing 21st in the standings after a string of DNFs, scoring a best race result of seventh.

The biggest disappointment came at Bathurst, where strategy put the Fujitsu Ford in contention in the closing stages, before Bright was one of many caught out by the wet conditions.

Jason Bright of Britek Motorsport during the Oran Park Grand Finale, Round 14 of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Oran Park, Sydney, New South Wales, December 07, 2008.

2008: Britek Motorsport

Another tough season followed in 2008, which again ended without a top six finish and with Bright 19th in the final standings.

With Ford withdrawing its support and the Global Financial Crisis making for a tough sponsor market, Britek, which had also run Ford Australia’s rally program, shut its doors at season’s end.

Jason Bright of Britek Motorsport during the The Island 300, Event 12 of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Phillip Island, Victoria, November 07, 2009.

2009: Britek Motorsport/Stone Brothers Racing

Britek was reborn as a single-car customer at Stone Brothers Racing, reuniting Bright with the team at which he started his full-time Supercars career.

Although again just 19th in the standings, Bright showed flashes of speed including a pole at Phillip Island and a fine third in the opening leg of the season-ending Sydney 500.

Jason Bright of Brad Jones Racing during the Sydney Telstra 500 Grand Finale, event 14 of the 2010 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Homebush Street Circuit, Sydney, New South Wales, December 04, 2010.

2010: Brad Jones Racing

Bright and his remaining Britek Racing Entitlements Contract both moved to BJR for 2010, with Bright driving the team’s existing #14 entry, and Britek underpinning the #21.

Reuniting with engineer Phil Keed, who he had worked with at PWR and FPR, Bright was 14th in the standings with podiums at Symmons Plains and Sydney Olympic Park.

Jason Bright of Brad Jones Racing during the Trading Post Perth Challenge, event 04 of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship at the Barbagallo Raceway, Perth, Western Australia, May 01, 2011.

2011: Brad Jones Racing

In what he now describes as the most-satisfying stretch of his career, Bright scored BJR’s long-awaited first Supercars Championship race wins midway through 2011.

The first came at Barbagallo and the second at Winton just weeks later. Inconsistency, however, left Bright 16th in the final standings.

Jason Bright of Brad Jones Racing during the Phillip Island 300, event 05 of the 2012 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Phillip Island, Victoria, May 20, 2012.

2012: Brad Jones Racing

The final year of the Project Blueprint regulations yielded just one podium for BJR, scored by Bright at Phillip Island, as Triple Eight and FPR dominated.

The Bright/Keed partnership was split early in the campaign, with the latter moving onto the car of new recruit Fabian Coulthard, who finished 11th in points, five places ahead of Bright.

Jason Bright of Brad Jones Racing during the ITM 400 Auckland, event 03 of the 2013 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Pukokohe, Auckland, , April 14, 2013.

2013: Brad Jones Racing

BJR fired out of the blocks strongly as the Next Generation rules debuted, with Bright winning early races at Symmons Plains and Pukekohe on the way to seventh in points.

At the latter event, Bright took out the inaugural Jason Richards Trophy, marking an emotional tribute to ex-BJR team-mate Richards, who had died at the end of 2011 following a 14-month battle with cancer.

Jason Bright of Brad Jones Racing during the ITM 500 Auckland, Event 04 of the 2014 Australian V8 Supercars Championship Series at the Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe, , April 25, 2014.

2014: Brad Jones Racing

Season 2014 proved tougher going and started in dramatic circumstances with Bright flipping wildly at the Senna Chicane during the season-opening Adelaide 500.

Pukekohe again proved a happy hunting ground, taking a fourth career race win at the venue, on the way to 11th in the final standings.

Jason Bright of Brad Jones Racing during the Sydney Motor Sport Park SuperSprint,  at the Sydney Motor Sport Park, Sydney, New South Wales, August 22, 2015.

2015: Brad Jones Racing

With Coulthard very much established as BJR’s number one, Bright’s 2015 season yielded 16th in the standings – his lowest finish since 2012.

Highlights included podiums at Sydney Motorsport Park and Sydney Olympic Park, with the former result coming despite a late-race punt from Shane van Gisbergen and subsequent short-cutting of the circuit.

Jason Bright of Brad Jones Racing during the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint,  at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Phillip Island, Victoria, April 15, 2016.

2016: Brad Jones Racing

A sixth place at Symmons Plains was as good as it got for Bright’s final BJR season, which he ended 17th in points.

Both Bright and his REC, which had continued to run the #21 entry, departed BJR at season’s end, heading back to where it had all began at the now Prodrive-branded FPR outfit.

Jason Bright of Mega Racing during the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000,  at the Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst, New South Wales, October 05, 2017.

2017: Prodrive Racing Australia

Heading to the Newcastle season finale 16th in the standings, Bright has been overshadowed by his three younger team-mates throughout the campaign.

Top 10 Shootout appearances at Townsville and Bathurst, however, have shown Bright is still a force on his day, and he’s clocked five top 10 finishes in the last seven races ahead of the Newcastle finale.

Follow Us
Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter