Bright: Richards at Bathurst with us
Sat, 06 Oct 2012 10:09p.m.
By Ed Jackson
Holden's Jason Bright is preparing himself for an emotional Bathurst 1000, the first since former V8 Supercars teammate Jason Richards died from cancer.
Bright's Brad Jones Racing (BJR) outfit made a moving tribute to Richards earlier in the week by placing his star logo on the top of Skyline at the iconic Mount Panorama circuit.
Popular driver Richards died in December last year after a year-long battle with adrenocortical carcinoma aged just 35 and Bright said making the trip to Bathurst without the New Zealander had brought up plenty of emotions within the BJR garage.
"Even though he wasn't racing last year he was still here and 12 months later he's not," Bright tells AAP.
"It hit the team very hard over Christmas obviously but coming here, he loved this joint.
"He used to really lift when he came to this place ... Bathurst during last year was one of the things that kept him going. He was so looking forward to coming to this place."
Richards finished as runner-up at Bathurst three times, in 2005, '08 and '09, and Bright said if he or one of the other two BJR cars in Sunday's field can deliver a victory there's no prizes for who the win will be dedicated to.
"He stood on the podium a few times when he obviously wasn't in the best cars in the field and he always lifted for this joint," says Bright, the 1998 Bathurst champion.
"Last year here he wrote on my helmet that he was riding every bump with us that day and he still is for sure.
"On the trackwalk, Andrew Edwards, my engineer, took the JR star and stuck it up there on Skyline which was an awesome tribute by him so, yeah, it was a pretty emotional start to the weekend."
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