AFTER four seasons as a Holden driver, Jason Bright famously returned to Ford in 2005 in a deal that saw him secure the funding to start his own two-car V8 Supercars team.
However, that wasn’t his original plan for Britek Motorsport – in fact, it was originally going to be a one-car Holden team!
Bright was in the middle of one of the best seasons of his Supercars career in 2004, taking a pair of round wins and contending for the championship right to the final round of the season with Paul Weel Racing.
Frustrated at the team’s place in the pecking order at Holden Motorsport despite its on-track performance, Bright looked to strike out on his own for 2005.
It’s history that he signed a deal with Ford which saw him replace the departing Craig Lowndes at Ford Performance Racing while simultaneously starting his own separate Ford-supported V8 outfit – which he’d then begin driving for in 2007.
But Bright’s original vision was that he’d race a Commodore under the Britek banner.
“I was going to either use a Walkinshaw car or maybe Paul Morris car and set up a one-car Holden team out of a workshop,” Bright told the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Timken.
“I was set to get some support from Holden to do it as well.
“That was the direction I was going in (until) I got a phone call from the Caterpillar managing director asking if I could come and have a meeting with them and Ford.
“My initial thought was that I wasn’t interested (but) why don’t you come and support me in my one-car Holden team!
“They kept pushing until I had the meeting with them, and the offer was too good to refuse at the time.
“It was a five-year deal, with two years I had to spend at Prodrive to help them because Craig Lowndes was leaving, then I’d move to my own team where the support from Ford was way better than what I was ever going to get from Holden, I believed, in that period.”
Team ownership was just one of the many topics Bright discussed in the podcast, including his desire to race overseas which led to his one-off Indycar start at Gold Coast Indy in 2000, a drill down on his Supercars career, and his surprise appearance in the iconic Panoz LMP-1 Roadster at Adelaide’s Race of a Thousand Years American Le Mans Series round.
Listen to the episodes in the players below.