Jason Bright is an Australian racing driver who was active in the Australian Touring Car Championship and V8 Supercars Championship from 1997 to 2018, recording more than 570 races and 20 wins in that period. His career-best result in the V8 Supercars Championship was the third place in 2001 and 2004.
Jason Bright was born on March 7, 1973, in Moe, Victoria. He started a racing career at the age 15, winning the Junior Club Championship at the Gippsland Go Kart Club. A year later, he won the Senior Club Championships. Bright continued to race with karts until 1991 when he was the Victorian Go Karting Champion.
In 1992, Bright move into single-seaters, entering the Victorian Formula Ford Championship. Next year, he debuted in the Australian Formula Ford Championship. Year by year, he was progressing in the championship, finishing third in 1994 and becoming the Australian Formula Ford champion in 1995.
1997 Australian Drivers' champion
In 1996, Bright was driving Reynard 91D (Holden) for Birrana Racing in the Australian Drivers' Championship, winning three races and finishing as a runner-up behind teammate Paul Stokell. Next year, Bright was a dominating driver in the Australian Drivers' Championship, winning eight races and taking his second championship title in a career.
Australian Touring Car Championship debut in 1997
In 1997, Bright also had Australian Touring Car Championship debut, driving Holden VS Commodore for Garry Rogers Motorsport at Symmons Plains. He grabbed a podium by finishing third at Sandown 500, sharing a Ford EL Falcon with Alan Jones. In his debut at Bathurst 1000, Bright and JOnes finished in 11th place.
1998 Bathurst winning Ford Falcon of Jason Bright and Steven Richards
Sensational Bathurst 1000 victory for a rookie
In 1998, Bright became a full-time driver for the Stone Brothers Racing. He was driving Ford EL Falcon, scoring three podiums in 29 races and finishing 9th in the points.
In November, ATCC rookie sensationally won the Bathurst 1000, sharing the #4 Ford EL Falcon with Steven Richards. A victory was even more surprising as Bright crashed heavily in practice, being able to make a single flying lap in qualifying, taking a 15th starting spot on the grid.
Maiden Supercars victory at Hidden Valley
In 1999, Bright stayed with Stone Brothers Racing in the renamed Shell Championship Series, capturing his maiden victory at Hidden Valley Raceway. That year, Bathurst 1000 was the part of the championship for the first time, but Bright didn't finish the race. He was sharing a car with Craig Baird. At the end of the season, Bright was 8th in the points.
Jason Bright in the 2000 Indy Lights series
A season in the Indy Lights series
In 2000, Bright made a switch in a career, leaving Australia to compete in the Indy Light series in North America. He was driving for Dorricott Racing, winning one race (Portland) to finish sixth in the points. Bright also made an IndyCar debut, participating in the Honda Indy 300 race at Surfers Paradise, not finishing the race in the Della Pena Motorsports' car.
Podium at Bathurst and return to Supercars
In 2000, Bright participated in only one V8 Supercars race, at Bathurst 1000, sharing Dick Johnson Racing's Ford with Paul Radisich. Starting from sixth place, they finished in the second place, losing a victory to Garth Tander and Jason Bargwanna.
After a short stint in an America, Bright returned full time to Australian V8 Supercars Championship in 2001, joining Holden Racing Team.
Third place in the 2001 V8SC season
The season 2001 turned to be one of the best in Bright's career, as he finished in the third place at the end of the year. A season started with a victory at Clipsal 500, which remained his only win that year. Bright added eight more podiums with #2 Holden VX Commodore, finishing third in the points, behind Mark Skaife and Russell Ingall.
In 2002, Bright was again among the front-runners, finishing fourth in the points after winning two rounds (Barbagallo and Winton).
One more third-place finish in 2004
Jason Bright moved to Paul Weel Racing for the 2003 V8 Supercars season, driving the #50 Holden. Without wins, he finished fourth in the points.
In 2004 V8 Supercars season, Bright stayed with Paul Weel Racing, tying up his career best result. He finished third in the points after winning races at Pukekohe and Barbagallo.
2003 Bathurst 24 Hour winners
Bathurst 24 hour victory and 24h Le Mans debut
In 2003, the highlight of the year was Bright's participation at 24 Hours of Bathurst in November, where he was sharing Garry Rogers Motorsport's #05 Holden Monaro 427C with Peter Brock, Greg Murphy and Todd Kelly. They won the race, beating teammates in a similar #427 car.
In 2003, Bright also debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans, joining 8 Star Motorsports to drive the #81 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 alongside Enzo Potolicchio and Rui Aguas. They finished 10th in LMGTE Am class.
Switching to Ford in 2005
Bright changed a manufacturer for the 2005 V8 Supercars season, joining Ford Performance Racing. He was driving the #6 Ford BA Falcon, finishing ninth in the points, not winning a race or scoring a podium.
Bright was much more successful in the next season with FPR, winning at Sandown and Bahrain to finish fifth in the final standings.
In 2006, Bright also had a one-off appearance in the American Le Mans Series, participating with Prodrive's Aston Martin at 12 hours of Sebring and finishing in the fourth place.
Struggling years with his own team
In 2007, Bright left FPR to drive for his own Britek Motorsport team, officially referred as Fujitsu Racing due to sponsorship reasons. Bright was driving the #25 Ford BF Falcon, with Alan Gurr in the #26 car. In 2008, Marcus Marshall jumped into #26 car. After two struggling seasons, without wins and with only one podium, the team dropped to only one car in 2009.
Bright made a deal with Stone Brothers Racing to do vehicle preparation. After one more bad season, finishing 19th in the points, Fujitsu had announced they would leave, so Bright closed the team and moved to Brad Jones Racing for the 2010 season.
Jason Bright in Brad Jones Racing's Holden
Seven seasons with Brad Jones Racing
Joining Brad Jones Racing, Bright returned to Holden, taking over the #14 car. With just two podiums, he finished 14th in the points in 2010. In the following two season, he was 16th in the final standings.
In 2013, with the introduction of the Car Of The Future rules, Brad Jones Racing improved its performances, with five wins through the season – three for Fabian Coulthard and two for Jason Bright. They finished sixth and seventh in the points.
Bright had a disastrous start to 2014, with a heavy crash in Race 3 at the Clipsal 500. Later in the season, he scored one podium to finish 11th in the points. Two more hard seasons followed, with Bright in the 16th and 17th place.
In 2015, Bright celebrated his 500th V8 Supercars start
One more season with Britek Motorsport's Ford before retirement
For the 2017 Supercars season, Bright rejoined Prodrive Racing Australia. He moved his Britek Motorsport's racing Entitlement Contract (REC) from BJR to Prodrive, becoming the fourth driver of the team in the #56 Ford FG X Falcon. Without wins or podiums, he finished 20th in the final standings and then decided to retire from full-time racing in 2018.
In 2018, he recorded three more starts in Supercars endurance races, sharing the #18 Holden Commodore of Charlie Schwerkolt Racing with Lee Holdsworth, and several starts in the Toyota 86 Racing Series.