Silverstone launch phase one of redevelopment

A masterplan for the future of Silverstone was launched on Wednesday with Sir Jackie Stewart promising that the Northamptonshire circuit will become one of the best in the world.

British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) president Stewart said that the redevelopment of the circuit will make Silverstone a state-of-the-art venue within two years.

"The vision for Silverstone is one of a center of excellence for our sport and industry," Stewart said. "It is something desperately needed and is undoubtedly in the national interest.

"The investment over the next five years will maintain Britain's premier position in the motorsport industry worldwide."

The plan, backed by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, includes improved facilities and track access and 1.5 kilometers of new track to improve overtaking opportunities on the circuit.

A 700-capacity media center, extended paddocks and improved pit-lanes will also be completed by 2003.

But Rob Bain, the chief-executive of track owners Octagon Motorsports, also said that this year's British Grand Prix would also run more smoothly after the parking problems that dogged the event in 2000.

"We have carried out a huge amount of work over the winter months with this year's event in mind," Bain said. "Our priority has been to make considerable improvements to short-term parking and traffic flow.

"The team at Silverstone have worked around the clock and we are confident that the car parks will be dry (this year)."

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