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Foulston leaves Brands Hatch

NICOLA FOULSTON has resigned from Brands Hatch Leisure "for personal reasons" and will no longer be involved in the running of the empire she has carefully built up since she inherited the business from her father in 1987. In 1996 she floated the company on the London Stock Exchange but in November BHL was sold to US marketing giant Interpublic, a deal which netted shareholders $195m - a big chunk of which went to Foulston family companies.

BHL owns and operates the Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park racing circuits. Foulston had been offered the job of being director of motorsport at Interpublic's Octagon sports marketing division but decided that she no longer wanted to be involved.

"I felt that Octagon's acquisition of the group meant the time had now come for me to pass the reins to a new leader with fresh experiences and new ideas to enable the group to further expand in the years to come, allowing me to concentrate on my personal life," Foulston said.

The company is to be run for the moment by company secretary Alan Goodwin. His job will be to complete the Interpublic takeover and the delisting of BHL from the Stock Exchange. It remains to be seen who will now run the Kentish circuit as it prepares to host the British Grand Prix in 2002. There have been suggestions that Interpublic may decide to do a deal for the Grand Prix to stay at Silverstone until redevelopment work at Brands Hatch is completed.

Silverstone is run by the British Racing Drivers' Club and at a meeting last week BRDC members were told not to panic about the loss of the British GP and let the management of the club organize a deal with Interpublic.

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