MARCH 31, 2006
Is the BRDC doomed?
The dissenting members of the British Racing Drivers' Club have got together the necessary 85 signatures needed to call for an emergency meeting during which they intend to reject the plans put forward by the club's board of directors to develop the facility in league with property St Modwen. The rebels are opposed to the plan because they think the club can continue to run the British Grand Prix at the facility, despite the fact that Bernie Ecclestone has made it very clear that unless changes are made the track will lose the race after 2009.
The rebels have yet to put forward a coherent plan as to what they intend to do if they win the vote but it is clear that the current board will be removed.
There seems to be an argument that Ecclestone will have to compromise because of the need for a British Grand Prix and no sign of an alternative venue for the event. This is rather short-sighted as Ecclestone has shown himself to be quite capable of dropping any race from the F1 calendar if necessary to get what he wants.
The current BRDC management says that it has been through a long and expensive process, talking to the best consultants and considering the options for the future and is exasperated by the fact members will now reject that advice. Increasingly, the opinions one hears are that the club is a doomed organisation because of its inability to accept change. There are some members who argue that the club was created in 1929 as a social organisation and that it should not be involved in running the British GP. In 1998 attempts were made to convince the BRDC members to sell the circuit but the club fought off the challenge. The financial realities, however, have to eventually be faced and that may be a painful experience for those involved.
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