DECEMBER 2, 2000
British Grand Prix future secured
THE future of the British Grand Prix has been secured after a peace agreement between the Brands Hatch and Silverstone circuits.
At a press conference at the Lansborough Hotel, London on Saturday Frank Lowe, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Brands Hatch owners Octagon, and Jackie Stewart, the president of Silverstone's owners the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), announced that the British Grand Prix will be hosted at Silverstone for the next 15 years.
Brands Hatch own the rights to host the British Grand Prix from 2002 to 2017, but the Kent circuit has experienced problems with planning permission and has therefore leased the rights to host the event to Silverstone.
The agreement is subject to approval from the BRDC members at an EGM on December 18, but it is expected that they will agree to the deal which will see Octagon invest heavily in Silverstone.
"This agreement, if approved by members of the BRDC, will be great news for British motor sport," said Lowe. "Silverstone is one of the most famous tracks in the world and needs the facilities to match that reputation."
Silverstone came under severe criticism when this year's event in April was marred when heavy rain caused chaos as car-parks were closed and fans turned away.
Three-time world champion Stewart was pleased with the deal as Silverstone secured its future in the Formula One world championship.
Stewart said: "The BRDC is delighted that we have structured a partnership so as to ensure the future development of the Silverstone circuit as the centerpiece of British motorsport.
"We are determined that Britain will retain that pre-eminence, however, we must never be complacent."
Lowe added that Octagon will continue to invest in Kent circuit Brands Hatch over the next 15 years to make it into a major motor racing venue.
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