Race 28 2023 Repco Supercars Championship - Vailo 500 For the second year succession, the…
Jason Bright stepped down from a full time drive in the Virgin Australia Supercar Championship at the conclusion of the 2017 season. While many expected the 1998 Bathurst 1000 winner to be snapped up by one of the front running teams for the Endurance races, he remained unsigned and appear likely to miss this year’s race. However, a chance phone call from Charlie Schwerkolt during the Queensland Raceway weekend saw Bright back with the Team 18 organisation for the three endurance races at Sandown. Bathurst and the Gold Coast with Lee Holdsworth.
Darin Mandy, Velocity’s Online Editor, caught up with Jason during Monday’s ride day in the Preston Hire Commodore to talk about life post Supercars and his return to the track.
(DM) Back in the seat this morning for the first time, how did it go?
(JB) I got a couple of laps in the wet this morning then you have a passenger with you. The car did feel pretty good in the wet and I felt pretty comfortable in the car. Then I got another couple of laps just before lunch and the afternoon drives in the dry.
I haven’t driven anything since Newcastle last year and I was probably a little bit nervous. It was the longest that I have been out of a racing car for my whole career, but it was pretty comfortable.
(DM) So Charlie (Schwerkolt) rang and said what are you doing in a couple of weeks time?
(JB) Yeah, basically I was resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to drive the enduros this year. I had tried to put a deal together earlier in the year to do a wildcard. Charlie had called me earlier in the year, but I was a fair way down the road with that and was reasonably confident that it was going to come off but it didn’t. By then I’d missed out pretty much on the seats, and I kind of knew that, Charlie then called up after the Friday at QR just to see if I was at all interested, which I was. Obviously a fair bit then happened over the next few days and we had a deal together by the Monday morning. So it’s a case of try and get fit for the enduros now.
(DM) So will you do GT or anything else?
(JB) I haven’t done anything else. The only thing I had lined up to do all year was the Toyota 86’s at The Bend with those guys. I was sort of planning to go over there anyway, but other than that I hadn’t done anything. I had thought of trying to pull something together in Porsche or GT (Jason had competed in the GT category at both Sebring and Le Mans in 2006 and 2013 respectively as well the odd race in the Australian GT Championship and Bathurst 12 Hour) in early January, but didn’t really have the time to put in what was needed to make it happen, though hopefully this year I will have more time on my hands to pull something together.
(DM) Big Smile on your face, so obviously you are enjoying it?
(JB) Yeah I am. Obviously it came about pretty late, so I’ll have imited miles before we get to Sandown. It certainly felt pretty good today, it doesn’t seem like I’ve been out of the car for nine or ten months, whatever it’s been, so I’m pretty happy for this.