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Silverstone battle lines are drawn

BRANDS HATCH boss Nicola Foulston has proposed to Bernie Ecclestone that Brands Hatch host the British Grand Prix from 2002. The race is currently held at Silverstone. Foulston is bidding to buy Silverstone from the British Racing Drivers'ĘClub and the Brands Hatch discussions with Ecclestone are designed to convince the BRDC to sell and so keep the Grand Prix. As an added incentive Ecclestone says he has agreed a deal for the British GP to remain at Silverstone between 2002 and 2009 - if Foulston is in control.

Foulston can thus offer BRDC members a deal which means that Silverstone will keep the Grand Prix for another 10 years and pay club members a payment of around $100,000.

The BRDC management is trying to fight off Foulston's bid and the club's financial advisers Dresdner Kleinwort Benson have drawn up a proposal to protect Silverstone from takeover for the next three years by transferring all Silverstone's commercial activities into a new company. In addition the club will invest in new facilities at the track, including a luxury hotel and a new high technology business park, raising the value of the new company. BRDC members will not be allowed to sell their shares in the new business for three years but can look forward to more money in the longer term.

The club's membership will decide on the issue on April 23 at their annual meeting.

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