Bright: Twilight race the perfect fit for Sydney
Following his experience at the Le Mans 24 Hours earlier this year, Jason Bright believes that a twilight format would be the perfect fit for the V8 Supercars Championship’s season-ending Sydney 500.
While recent pushes to add night races at Australian venues have fallen foul of prohibitive costs, the Sydney proposal is said to include no additional track lighting.
With December sunsets not occurring in Sydney until after 7:30pm, Bright believes that the timeslot will allow for an increased spectacle without endangering the drivers.
“It won’t be dark enough at that time where you’ll need street lighting, but it’ll definitely be getting dark and the cars will still look more spectacular than they do during the day,” he told Speedcafe.com of the Sydney proposal.
“Driving wise I don’t think it’s going to be that dark that it’s dangerous running around there.
“Unless it’s about to bucket down and there are big clouds overhead there’ll still be enough light that you won’t need any street lighting.
“Sydney is a challenging circuit, but by the time that the light is getting low you’ll have your eye in,” he added of the venue’s suitability to twilight racing.
“Having a car in front of you usually around there is a bigger challenge, trying to pick apexes, and I don’t think a little bit ambient light is going to make that much more difficult.”
Lower evening temperatures would also be welcomed by drivers and spectators alike after ambient conditions nudged the 40 degree barrier during the 2012 event.
While comfortable with the light levels expected for Sydney, Bright warns that any attempts at full night racing will have to be thought through carefully.
“With a little bit of work to the headlights and adding a bit of visibility to the kerbing through reflective paint and so on, we could probably run in full darkness without the track being lit, but you’d struggle television wise to produce a good product,” he said.
“Generally I think night racing is a great idea, but we’ve just got to make sure we do it the right way.
“As long as you’ve got the right amount of lighting to show off the cars to the spectators, then it’s going to be great for the sport and great for the drivers.
“It adds a new element to the races that we don’t normally see. We might even have to come up with a softer tyre again to actually get any degradation.”
Bright is currently sixth in the V8 Supercars Championship heading into Brad Jones Racing’s home event at Winton this weekend.
The team have tested just once at the venue this year, however, with the category-wide gearbox problems and recent wet weather having seen several planned outings postponed.