DECEMBER 17, 2000
British Grand Prix future set to be rubber-stamped
THE British Grand Prix's future at Silverstone is expected to be secured on Monday at an EGM of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC).
Members of the BRDC, who own the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, are set to rubber-stamp the previously announced deal for the track to host the British Grand Prix for the next 15 years.
Octagon, who own Silverstone's rival track Brands Hatch in Kent, confirmed earlier this month that they had agreed with the BRDC to lease the rights to host the event to Silverstone, who had expected to lose the race after next year.
Octagon have vowed to invest in Silverstone and secure its place on the Formula One calendar after the debacle that marred this year's British Grand Prix in April.
Thousands of spectators were turned away or stuck in miles of traffic jams as heavy rain turned Silverstone's car-parks into impassable mud-baths.
As a result, Formula One's governing body, the FIA, threatened to exclude the British Grand Prix from the 2001 calendar.
But after two World Motor Sport Council meetings, the FIA moved the race back to its traditional July date and Silverstone officials convinced the governing body that there would be improvements in management of the race.
Octagon are reported to be ready to plough £50 million (pounds) into improving facilities at Silverstone, while the BRDC are pushing for financial help from the British Government to invest further in the circuit.
McLaren team chairman and BRDC member Ron Dennis, who was influential in helping the deal go through, is confident his fellow BRDC members will sanction the deal on Monday.
"The outcome for the BRDC members is that we've delivered all the commitments made to the membership, including securing the Grand Prix at Silverstone."
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