SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Feb. 20, 2000) - Jason Bright, arguably Australia's most successful open-wheel racing driver of the current generation, has signed with defending Indy Lights champion Dorricott Racing for the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship. Bright completes Dorricott Racing's three-driver line-up for the upcoming Indy Lights season. He will be joined by 1999 Indy Lights championship runner-up Casey Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., and Barber Dodge ace Townsend Bell, of Costa Mesa, Calif. "The team is very pleased and excited to have a driver with Jason's varied driving experience join Casey Mears and Townsend Bell in pursuit of the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship," said Dorricott Racing team owner Bob Dorricott. "Jason's decision to run a full Indy Lights campaign with us bodes well for Dorricott Racing as we approach the beginning of a new Indy Lights season. He's an 'impact player' who excels in a highly competitive environment."
Bright, who resides in Gold Coast, Australia, had a distinguished season in 1999 competing in Australia's Shell Championship Series. Six podium finishes were highlighted with a victory at Hidden Valley in Round Five of the 12-race series. The 26 year-old Bright, who was consistently the front running Ford in the 1999 Shell Championship Series, displayed his qualifying prowess in winning three pole positions. He claimed the highest qualifying average in the Shell Championship Series and was the first driver to qualify in the top-five for all 12 events.
"My ambition in motorsports has always been to someday compete in the highest echelons of motorsports," said Bright. "It doesn't happen overnight. It takes time develop the skills and gain the needed experience. I think my racing career to date has helped position me in the right place at the right time to take the next step forward. The Dayton Indy Lights Championship and Dorricott Racing are world-class. My goal is to represent my country in the CART FedEx Championship Series. The Indy Lights series is the best stepping stone."
Bright is no stranger to open-wheel racing in North America or Australia. He moved into Formula Ford in 1992 following four years of go-kart racing. He ran in the National Formula Ford category in factory Spectrum in 1993, and finished second place overall in the 1993 National Formula Ford festival at Winton, Victoria. His 1994 third place finish in the Australian Formula Ford Championship was encored by first place in the 1995 Fordcare Australian Formula Ford Championship. Other season highlights included winning the Formula Ford support race to the Australian IndyCar Grand Prix at Surfers Paradise, and a victory in the Formula Ford support race to Formula One's Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide.
1996 was Bright's break through season in open-wheel Formula car racing. It included debuts in the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 Pro Championship and Holden Australian Drivers' Championship for Formula Holden. Two victories in the U.S. FF2000 series at St. Petersburg, Fla., and Mosport Park, Ont., Canada, quickly etched his name in American motorsport records. He closed his season with a second place finish in the U.S. National Formula Ford Championship, and was named Formula Ford 2000 and USAC Oval Crown Rookie-of-the-Year.
Bright captured the 1997 Holden Australian Drivers' Championship behind nine victories. He also debuted in the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship in a V8 Supercar where he finished ninth place overall and captured third place in the Sandown 500 endurance race with 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones.
1998 was a high note due to consistent qualifying performances that earned him the highest qualifying average in the 1998 Shell Championship Series. A victory in Australia's prestigious FAI 1000 at Bathurst sealed his nomination for the Australian Circuit Racer of the Year Award.
Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif., and its corporate office based in Sunnyvale, Calif. Race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, http://www.dorricottracing.com. Additional information on Jason Bright may be accessed at www.jasonbright.com.au.
The first round of the 12-race 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16, 2000.