MARCH 23, 2004
Bad news from down Chessington way
For the British Chessington is famous for its World of Adventures, a former zoo that became an theme park. But for racing fans Chessington is a name synonymous with the Brabham Formula 1 team. Once the team was based at a garage owned by Jack Brabham but later it was sold to Bernie Ecclestone and moved to nearby New Haw until 1978 when Ecclestone took the team back to new premises which were to house the team until the team was sold and moved to Milton Keynes in November 1991. The Chessington factory was then sold to Yamaha and the Japanese company opened up Activa Technology, employing many of the old Brabham staff under former team director Herbie Blash.
The company specialised in motor racing and motorcycle racing research and development and manufacturing but in recent years the industry has been cut back because of the economic situation and Yamaha has now decided to close the business down, laying off the remaining 19 employees. The staff had already been reduced by voluntary redundancies last autumn.
Blash is currently considering his options for the future but is expected to remain as the FIA's Deputy Race Director.
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