APRIL 18, 2005
The BRDC sets a date
The British Racing Drivers' Club's current problems will be settled on May 12 when the club - which owns Silverstone and promotes the British Grand Prix - meets to discuss the role of its president Sir Jackie Stewart. A number of club members have demanded that Stewart and the board of directors stand down.
Ê The current dispute began in January when a meeting of the BRDC board turned into a showdown between chairman Ray Bellm and president Stewart. The result was that the board voted, by a narrow majority, that the club should no longer have a chairman. Stewart was later quoted as saying that a lot of companies are headed by a chairman but that "the BRDC is different - the president leads the company".
Bellm responded, explaining the problem as being due to "a disagreement by some board members of the terms of the contract with FOM for the British Grand Prix". Bellm had led the negotiations to secure what he called "the best - and possibly only - deal available to us".
Bellm added that getting rid of the post of chairman was not, in his opinion, "correct corporate governance for the effective running of the club".
This was followed a few weeks later by a statement from Stewart saying that he intended to take a back seat in the British Racing Drivers' Club in the future. This appears to have been an attempt to deflect criticism within the club but this then boiled over when the club's regional coordinators called a meeting to discuss complaints from members about the way in which the club was being run. After the meeting, which was held at the RAC Club in London, the regional coordinators sent letters to Stewart and all the board members asking them to stand down. This they refused to do, arguing that the request was an unconstitutional move.
Matters will thus be resolved in May.
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