Veteran Jason Bright is exploring a potential move to Triple Eight Holden equipment for next season as he looks at options to revitalise his Supercars career.
As recently announced, the 43-year-old is set to be replaced at Brad Jones Racing by Nick Percat for 2017, ending a seven-year stint with the Albury-based squad.
Defying expectations that he would retire from full-time driving, Bright has been busily piecing together new plans over recent months.
The 1998 Bathurst 1000 winner is expecting to race under his own #21 Racing Entitlements Contract, which has been domiciled at BJR since Bright joined the team in 2010.
Bright has confirmed to Speedcafe.com that he has made enquiries about securing a Triple Eight Holden as he focusses on ensuring that he is in race winning equipment.
Whether Bright can secure a car directly from Triple Eight for the start of next year, however, remains to be seen, as all three chassis available at season’s end are understood to have been earmarked for existing customers in the Dunlop Series.
“There’s only a few cars in the championship at the moment that are really doing the job week to week,” Bright told Speedcafe.com.
“Making sure I’m in one of those and that it’s the latest spec is my first priority.
“I had to make that (Triple Eight) enquiry to know that if I took my REC somewhere to set up a new entity within a team, whether there is availability or what can be done to update existing equipment.
“I need to make sure that whatever I do the equipment is capable of being competitive.
“I don’t want to be running around at the back like we have been at the last couple of events.
“Whatever I do I’ll try and make sure there’s things built into it so it can take a step forward, or that it’s with a top team.”
Although, by his own admission, Bright has spoken to almost every team during his planning process, one of his options is thought likely to be with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
LDM currently runs two ageing Triple Eight-built chassis but may elect to lease out its second REC next year if plans from sponsor John Fuller to start a new team in Newcastle come to fruition.
Bright is also known to have investigated a possible tie-up with another Triple Eight customer, Team 18, although that is thought unlikely on the grounds of cost.
Other uncertainties in the REC market include the future of Super Black Racing, which is yet to be confirmed despite Rusty French recently declaring his intention to buy the license following the death of founder Tony Lentino.
The team is currently searching for local backing in order to continue in its Kiwi guise and is known to be assessing options beyond Prodrive for its preparation services.
That too could open up a slot for Bright and his REC in what, despite a patchy 2016, is still expected to be one of the front-running teams next year.
“There’s a lot going on and there’s a hell of a lot yet to unfold,” said Bright of the overall picture.
“I’m pretty confident I’ll end up with a home and it’ll be a nice home.
“But there’s still a lot of movement in REC world that’ll determine where drivers and teams end up.
‘There’s a few deals to be done but I’m pretty sure I’ll be out there in good equipment.
“For me there’s stuff that should happen in the next couple of weeks,” he added of a timeline.
“In an ideal world it’ll all be done, signed and announced before Homebush.”
How the REC gap will be filled at BJR, which has stated its intention to continue as a three-car squad with Percat, Tim Slade and Tim Blanchard is also unclear.
Plans are also yet to be locked in for Erebus Motorsport’s second entry which has been driven by Shae Davies in the back half of the season following the team’s split with the Plus Fitness-backed Aaren Russell.