OCTOBER 11, 1999
Lord Hesketh resigns
LORD HESKETH, the President of the British Racing Drivers' Club - which controls the Silverstone racing circuit - has resigned. Hesketh said that he was leaving the job because he does not agree with the restructuring of the club to protect it from takeover bids.
"I cannot agree with the proposed restructuring which precludes share ownership to members," he said. "It is not in the interest of the club to have a disunited board, and I consider the honorable course of action is to resign my position."
Hesketh's departure comes at a time when the club is looking likely to lose the British Grand Prix to Brands Hatch in 2002 although the Kentish circuit needs to be completely rebuilt before the race can switch venues and there is no guarantee that the work can be completed in the time available. As a result Brands Hatch boss Nicola Foulston bid to buy Silverstone but her approach was rejected by Hesketh and the BRDC board, despite a number of members being in favor of the sale. Foulston has now withdrawn all her offers to the BRDC and is pushing ahead with the plan to rebuild Brands Hatch in the time available.
Hesketh spent a good part of his family fortune running a Formula 1 team in the 1970s before becoming rather more conventional. He served as a junior minister in the last Conservative government. He has been President of the BRDC since January 1994 when he replaced Innes Ireland, who died the previous autumn.
It remains to be seen who will replace Hesketh but the 11 members of the BRDC board includes Martin Brundle, HowdenÊGanley, Tim Parnell, Frank Sytner, David Brodie and Paddy Hopkirk.
It is possible that the board may ask one of the Vice-Presidents to take over the role. The role is largely an honorary one and the vice-presidents include Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Frank Williams, Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Ken Tyrrell, Rob Walker and Jackie Stewart.
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