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In the 1990s he was the coming kid, a driver with a Bathurst win and thirst for IndyCars. In the 2000s he was a contender. And in the 2010s he was about consolidation and leadership. Through it all, Bright etched out a career of significance.
He left pretty much every team he drove for in better shape than when he arrived and once he had settled in Australia for his racing he kept pushing towards his goal of team ownership. Now he is retired from full-time driving and a business owner and father. And strangely given his pedigree, it looked like an endurance drive was going to escape him until a late call-up from Charlie Schwerkolt at Team 18 to partner Lee Holdsworth.
“November last year was my last race and this is the longest time I’ve ever spent out of a race car,” says Bright.
“I obviously didn’t plan on spending the whole year out of a race car but I was busy with my business. I didn’t have the time at the end of last year or the start of this year to try and pull something together in Porsche or GT. But I’d liked to have been out there in one of those categories. I’m lucky that we’ve been able to pick up a drive with Charlie and Lee for the enduros pretty late in the piece.
“I expected to still race something and I didn’t mean to miss out on enduros this year, which is what it looked like I was going to. I was trying to do a wildcard for Bathurst, which excited me. But by the time that didn’t happen most of the other drives were taken up. I was fortunate that Charlie called and that I got this opportunity.
“I haven’t missed the racing as much as I expected. When I was leaving Newcastle last year, I was like, ‘It’s gonna be a pretty big void to fill’ but I think if I didn’t have my business, which keeps me very occupied, then I probably would have missed it a lot more.”
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