Supercars Championship veteran Jason Bright will leave the Brad Jones Racing team at the end of the 2016 season, the Victorian outfit has announced.
“It’s been fantastic having Jason here over the years, he has been an instrumental part in making our team what it is today,” said team owner Brad Jones in a statement.
“Jason has been in Supercars for almost 20 years, and seven of those have been with us. We’ve achieved a lot together, so there are many fond memories.”
The 43-year-old has raced with the team since 2010, claiming the outfit’s first championship race win the following year at Barbagallo Raceway. He made his Australian touring car debut in 1997 – the same year that he won the Australian Drivers’ Championship for Formula 3000 machinery – and raced full-time in the category from 1998 onwards with Stone Brothers Racing.
After a brief tilt at trying to crack into the Champ Car grid in 2000, he returned to V8 Supercars with the Holden Racing Team in 2001 and was in contention for the Drivers’ Championship title before fading to finish third overall.
He moved to Paul Weel Racing in 2003, finishing an impressive fourth overall for the small outfit, and went one better in 2004 with third place in the standings.
A switch of marques to Ford Performance Racing in 2005 peaked with victory at the 2006 Sandown 500, but he left the team to run as owner/driver with his struggling Britek Motorsport and was consigned to the midfield.
After leasing his entry with Brad Jones Racing to save his own team – and in turn expand the BJR operation to a three-car effort – Bright’s form in recent years has been patchy, with seventh overall in the 2013 standings proving to be his best result.
He still co-owns the #21 Britek Racing Entitlements Contract, and rumours are that he could shift that REC to another team – the most likely outfit in that case is rumoured to be Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
“The team Brad and Kim have put together in Albury have been a pleasure to work with,” he said.
“The majority of the guys here now were here in my first year in 2010 which says a lot about the culture that BJR has. I never thought I would drive for a team for seven years straight but BJR has made my time here a very satisfying chapter in my Supercar career.
Brad Jones Racing is yet to confirm the identity of Bright’s replacement, although it is widely expected that it will confirm current LDM driver Nick Percat as its newest signing.
Image via Motorsport.com