Team BOC driver is determined to fight on to the end in his attempt to reclaim the trophy
Jason Bright's defence of the Jason Richards Trophy took a hit on day two of the ITM 500 today at Pukekohe in New Zealand but the Team BOC driver is determined to fight on to the end in his attempt to reclaim the trophy.
Hopes were high after the Team BOC driver scored a pole and race win yesterday but Bright suffered a number of costly incidents in the two 100 kilometre races today.
Bright found the going tough in qualifying, unable to find a setup to his liking in the two ten minute back to back sessions - starting the two races in 8th and 14th spots on the grid.
In the first race Bright tangled early on with Supercheap Auto's Tim Slade.
Slade tapped Bright through the high speed final corner before the two tangled again later in the lap. The contact damaged Slade's steering and Bright was subsequently penalised with a drive through penalty, putting the Team BOC Commodore to the back of the field.
After pitting for fresh tyres during a safety car, Bright picked off car after car – eventually finishing 12th. In the second race, Bright fell victim to further contact, this time with DJR's Scott Pye and his car was sent flying into the tyres. Losing time and bodyparts, Bright was consigned to the rear of the field and battled to an eventual 23rd place at the flag.
"Initially Tim drove me off at the hairpin. Then we went side by side in the kink and then he was just into me the whole way around the last corner. Then he made a lunge at the end of the back straight and we rubbed going into the corner and the two wheels grabbed each other and my car went in the air. As far as I'm concerned that was a racing incident but pushing someone in the bumper all the way around the last corner certainly isn't a racing incident. If I got a penalty for that both Shane (Van Gisbergen) and Tim should get a penalty for both driving me off the road. I haven’t seen anyone else get a penalty for that so it’s a little bit disappointing. We copped it as hard as anyone getting driven off the road but no one else got a drive through. The car is really strong and that's why it's a shame we had to use up a set of tyres to get a result."
"I made a good start and through the chicane heading towards the back straight our wheels touched (with Scott Pye) and I went up into the air and into the barrier. Very disappointing. I'm certainly learning who you can race close and who you can't, it was probably just one of those freak things where the two tyres seemed to grab each other. I have a good car this weekend and a couple of bad qualifying sessions really hurt us. I think we're capable of getting a podium every race now, our pace has shown that but when you qualify badly you end up racing with a bunch of numpties like we did today. Shane and Frosty are in a good position to win the trophy but we'll keep battling hard.”
Mark Winterbottom won the first race today from James Courtney and Chaz Mostert with local hero Shane Van Gisbergen winning the second from Winterbottom and Scott McLaughlin.