Bright: I thought I had Courtney covered
Jason Bright thought he had the car speed and fuel economy to win at the Yas V8 400 in Abu Dhabi – eventually falling just short of James Courtney.
The Team BOC driver had two more laps worth of fuel than the leaned-out Toll Holden Racing Team Commodore of Courtney.
The sensational race had everything – fuel strategy, crashes and a classic late-race dice for the lead.
Bright snatched the lead off Courtney with three laps remaining, only for Courtney to get back past.
Bright was disappointed to finish second, knowing he had the pace to what would have been Brad Jones Racing’s first win in the V8 Supercars Championship.
“We were in better shape than James, I thought,” Bright said in regards to the fuel economy.
“At the stage when we all pitted and restarted, the team wasn’t sure whether the rest of the cars could make it. We were as lean as we could be. We’ve lost a bit of fuel economy since last year. We realised that yesterday – we certainly don’t have the strongest car in terms of fuel economy, we were doing everything to save fuel, as well as try to catch him.”
Bright says that he had used the best of his tyre life to catch and pass Courtney.
“You definitely use the tyres passing cars and firing down the inside of people under brakes,” he said.
“When I got past him, I’d thought I’d be able to pull away and take my own racing line, but I never got the chance to take my own racing line. We spent so much time side-by-side, tightening up the corners. It was a great battle.
“Going off track, getting back on, it was something I really enjoyed. We didn’t touch once out of the whole lot. It was certainly enjoyable from the cockpit.”
Bright is confident that he can take the next step now and win the championship.
“I came in this year thinking we’re a good shot at the championship,” he said.
“The test day didn’t go that well for us, even though we were third, but I was pretty disappointed with the pace.
“This weekend, I didn’t feel we were anywhere where we needed to be. We showed some signs of promise. We had the quickest sectors but I couldn’t put together a whole lap. The race yesterday was a disaster when we blew the seal out of the rack. I went home pretty disappointed.
“Today, we changed the car. It was a much better car in qualifying. I didn’t get the best out of it on the second set of tyres, but in the race, the car was magic.”
See below for the full championship points after two races of the V8 Supercars Championship.
|3.||Shane Van Gisbergen||210|