Jason Bright has announced his retirement from full-time racing after next weekend’s Coates Hire Newcastle 500 Supercars Championship finale.

The 44-year-old, who is the series’ oldest full-time driver, will devote more time to his young family and growing his recruitment business.

Bright made his Supercars debut in 1997 as an endurance co-driver to former F1 champion Alan Jones, before graduating to a full-time drive a year later with Stone Brothers Racing. He claimed a sensational win with Steve Richards at the Bathurst 1000 that year.

In 2000 he headed Stateside to contest the Indy Lights series and had a one-off ChampCar start on home soil at Surfers Paradise.

Unable to secure a full-time ChampCar drive, Bright returned to Supercars racing and was a race-winner for the likes of Paul Weel Racing, Ford Performance Racing and Brad Jones Racing. He joined Prodrive Racing in 2017, taking his Racing Entitlements Contract (REC) to support the team’s entry of a fourth Ford Falcon FGX.

Bright’s announcement comes amid a flurry of speculation surrounding his own REC, his uncertain future with the team and its well-known desire to promote Richie Stanaway into a full-time drive.

“I was expecting it to be two years here [at Prodrive], but if that opportunity wasn’t going to be there I wasn’t going to bust my balls to be on the grid, so I’d decided a little while ago I’d step aside,” Bright told the official Supercars website.

“Overall I’m happy with how this year has gone. We’ve been in the top 10 the last few rounds and I’m looking forward to Newcastle and going out on a positive note.”

Prodrive is set to announce that it will lease LD Motorsport’s second REC to create a seat for Stanaway, paving the way for Bright to take his own REC to another team. The likely destination is Super2 outfit Matt Stone Racing, which is exploring its options to make a jump into the top-tier series with Todd Hazelwood as its driver.

Image via LAT Images

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Geoff Burke

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