APRIL 17, 2000
Jaguar Racing and Gaydon
Gaydon has the added advantage of featuring test tracks and proving grounds with a total length of 35 miles. This would fit Ford's idea of having a motorsport "campus" with all the necessary testing facilities (including a test track and rally stages).
Gaydon is located alongside the M40 motorway between Banbury and Warwick. It is close to Jaguar's headquarters in Coventry and about 30 miles from the current Jaguar and Cosworth F1 factories. A wartime bomber training station, Gaydon was the home of Britain's nuclear squadrons in the 1950s. It is well-protected and screened from the outside world.
Ford is in the process of buying a variety of Rover assets from BMW (including the Land Rover brand) for around $3bn and Gaydon is expected to be included in that deal. It would be a very quick way for Ford to acquire a facility to match that of Ferrari's Maranello complex. There would be plenty of space (and no planning permission problems) for the Jaguar Racing windtunnel which we understand has been commissioned and will be designed and built by the US consultant engineering company Sverdrup, which specializes in advanced research centers and test facilities for the aerospace and automotive industries, notably for NASA and the US Air Force.