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BRDC rethink Silverstone plans

Silverstone's owners are reviewing their options after a grass-roots revolt against plans to lease the British Grand Prix circuit to developer St Modwen for 150 years.

"There is no Board intention whatsoever to attempt to push through existing proposals," British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) chairman Stuart Rolt told members this week in a letter inviting them to assess the alternatives.

"It is clear there is strong opposition to these plans even in their un-finalised form," he added.

"Although there is support from less vocal members, we acknowledge that there is little prospect of the necessary strong majority of members approving any move for us to proceed with the St Modwen/Northern Racing proposal.

"It is also abundantly clear that something really has to be done to secure the future of our club, independent of reliance upon the future of the British Grand Prix."

A copy of the letter was obtained by Reuters.

The proposals stalled last month when a majority of BRDC members forced postponement of a vote on two resolutions that would have authorised the board to proceed.

The BRDC, a non-profit making members' club that owns Silverstone as its primary source of revenue, needs to revamp the former World War Two airfield to secure the future of the British Formula One race after 2009.

To help pay for the redevelopment, the board had proposed leasing the facility to St Modwen Properties in a deal that would have included building a luxury hotel and houses on the site in central England.

Northern Racing, a company that controls nine British horse racing venues, would have become the circuit operators.

"Clearly the BRDC has some internal issues to sort out and until they can speak with a common voice we have just deferred negotiations," Northern Racing managing director Rod Street told Reuters last week.

Rolt urged members, some of whom had threatened a vote of no confidence in the board, to attend a series of information 'forums' next month to review the club's finances and discuss options for the future.

He said the board would then prepare a discussion document and questionnaire to gauge the majority view.

  © 2015 Reuters. All rights reserved
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