More racing, less testing! That’s the call from revitalisedJason Bright as the V8 Supercars Championship ponders cost cutting strategies.
Team BOC’s Bright, who has won two races already in 2013 andclaimed the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy at Pukekohe last Sunday in his BJRBOC Holden VF Commodore, says sponsorship funds are better spent racing infront of a crowd than lapping circuits solo in test sessions.
And Bright, who raced for his own Britek team for threeyears and still owns an REC, has a blueprint that calls for race meetings to beculled from three days to two as well.
“As far as I am concerned my personal sponsors and my teamsponsors don’t pay us to go testing; they don’t pay us to run around on Fridayswhen there’s no television on us either,” Bright said.
“I’d like to see more two day race meetings, less testingand maybe we do one or two more race meetings per year, rather than runningaround on test days by ourselves.”
Bright estimated an annual schedule of four to five testdays would cost around $150,000, which would be enough to cover the budget forcontesting an extra round of the championship.
V8 Supercars has already moved to cut costs in 2013 byreducing tyre allocations and test days. However that’s not enough for Bright,who believes two mandatory series test days per year would be ample.
“A series test day at the start of the year gets exposureand launches all the cars and gives all the drivers a day of running. Then youcould have another series test day leading up to the enduros where all the co-driverscould have a test.
“Everyone has to be there, we get good media out of it andthat’s what our sponsors are all interested in.”
Bright argued rookie Scott McLaughlin’s outstanding start to2013 proved new drivers don’t need added testing days, while the more controlitems fitted to the new Car of the Future further limited the opportunity fordevelopment that testing would deliver.
“It’s not like Formula One where the teams are constantlytesting and developing new parts all the time… at the end of day we are in apretty controlled formula.
“In fact, it’s not as controlled as I would like it. I wouldlike to see control front suspension and air boxes. It’s crazy we have got toCar of the Future and we haven’t controlled those components and teams arestill paying a lot of money for them.
“In the end the majority of the field will end up with thesame front suspension, and it will be as if it was controlled, but we will bepaying a lot more for it. I think we missed the boat a little bit, we shouldhave had tenders for a lot more of the suspension components rather than teamsoff making their own.”
Bright acknowledged that the best-funded teams would ploughtheir money into salaries for driving and engineering talent and into testingand development away from the track.
“It might just make the bottom half of the grid moreviable,” he countered. “That’s the biggest thing, we need to protect everyonein the series and there are probably teams over-spending at the moment and thetesting is adding to that.”
Bright, who has climbed to sixth in the championship after aslow start, made his comments only days before the Brad Jones Racing squad hasits first test of 2013 scheduled at Winton.