Jason Bright has committed to driving his #8 Team BOC Commodore VE at the Sydney Telstra 500.
After sustaining a fractured rib and related muscle problems in the past few weeks, the former Bathurst 1000 winner will suit up for the opening practice sessions this Friday and test his injured body.
If he deems himself fit, he will continue through the entire weekend, which compromises of two 250km races around the brutal street track.
If Bright decides he is not fit, he will hand the reins of his BOC Commodore to Andrew Jones, who is scheduled to drive the team’s entry in the Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series. CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s past story.
Jones substituted for Bright in the last event at Sandown.
While the fractured rib has caused the initial complaint, Bright’s major pain is now centred around the muscle.
Regardless, Bright says that he will drive his car in Friday practice.
“I’ll definitely drive. I’m going to give it a crack,” Bright told Speedcafe.com.
“I pulled the pin at Sandown because I didn’t feel that they’d found out what was really wrong. In hindsight, that was the right decision, because the muscle was a bigger problem.
“If I’d driven at Sandown, I would have left pit lane and come back straight in and that might have set me back for Homebush. I’m glad I didn’t run there.”
Bright says the pain he is feeling now makes him feel confident that he’ll make it through the entire race meeting.
“I’m probably back to feeling how I was before Symmons where my stomach muscles are alright, but I just have the fractured rib,” he said.
“I did three race meetings like that (Phillip Island, Bathurst and Gold Coast). I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get through Sydney.
“It has still been a bit tender this week, but again, it’s all getting better by the day. It’s looking good for me to drive at the moment.”
While he is confident of driving, he is unsure if he will require pain relief to complete the task.
“I’m not sure. I’ll wait and see how that feels Thursday,” he said.
“I’ll see how my rib feels, whether it is tender. If it is still tender, I might, but the way it feels now, I should be right.”
The injury has cost Bright a start in the last three V8 Supercars races, but thanks to a number of strong results earlier in the year – including two race wins – he still sits 15th in the title.
After the disappointment of missing races, Bright hopes that he can end the 2011 championship on a high.
“It would be good to finish the year on a good note,” he said.
“We’ve had a rough trot of late, and I think the car will roll out of the truck pretty good, to be honest.
“I think we are on top of the problems we’ve had, and unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to test them at Sandown. I’m confident we’ll be stronger than what you’ve seen of us in the last few rounds.”
The Sydney Telstra 500 kicks off this Friday with four practice sessions.
See below for Speecafe.com’s exclusive, in depth V8 Race Guide, previewing the Sydney Telstra 500