MAY 23, 2009
Bernie to buy Silverstone - the real story
There were rumours knocking around at Monaco suggesting that Bernie Ecclestone is going to buy Silverstone, in order to stage the British GP at the Northamptonshire track. It is not the firstt time there have been such rumours and while such a deal has always made quite a lot of sense, there has never seemed much likelihood of that actually happening. the logic behind such a deal is sound. The British Racing Drivers' Club is supposed to be a social club for racing drivers, but for years it has been highly-politicized because of its desire to run the British Grand Prix. The logic of a sale would be to return the BRDC to the role that it was intended for: giving the club the money to buy a suitable club house somewhere useful (such as London); and to create a trust fund to provide money for such things as scholarships for young drivers and so on.
The rumours of a sale have arisen this time because BRDC chairman Robert Brooks has written to members inviting them to discuss the future role of the BRDC with regard to its responsibilities and functions, and to consider whether or not, under the right terms, and with a commitment to significant further development of the circuit and its facilities, the BRDC would be prepared to divest itself of its current responsibilities at Silverstone and hand these over to a suitable partner.
"The BRDC is fully committed to the objective of extensive and continued development of Silverstone as a world class motor sport facility for competitors, fans and the whole motor sport community in the UK," says BRDC president Damon Hill. "However, it recognises the need to reform the current relationship between the business and the club for the sake of efficiency and the reputation and security of the BRDC. For the avoidance of doubt, Silverstone is still very much owned by the BRDC. These forums will be an opportunity for members to take part in the debate and inform the board of their wishes for the future of the club. There is unlikely to be any formal decisions made in these forums. Nevertheless, all the members are very keen to create the best conditions for the club's famous circuit to continue to grow and fulfil its enormous potential."