Bellm set to oversee Silverstone revamp
|By Anthony Rowlinson
||Thursday, May 4th 2006, 09:29 GMT
Former BRDC chairman Ray Bellm, newly returned to the club's board, has emerged as the man most likely to oversee the redevelopment of Silverstone, according to this week's Autosport.
Bellm, who quit as chairman last year following a dispute with then-president Sir Jackie Stewart, was re-elected to the BRDC board at the club's annual general meeting last Friday.
And he warned that the club had only two years to "get its house in order" before bidding for a renewal of its contract to host the British GP.
Silverstone's current British GP contract expires after the 2009 race, but Bellm said the circuit had to be in a position to present itself as fit for contract renewal by 2008.
"That gives us only about two years," he said. "This year's Grand Prix is almost here, and as soon as it has passed we're going to have to focus very hard on what comes next. Two years isn't very long."
But he believed that with Damon Hill as president, the club had a better chance of making progress than it did under Sir Jackie Stewart. Bellm, a Stewart critic, said: "Damon will be an excellent president. Jackie was too dominant and that led to friction."
Bellm said he believed the best approach for the club now was to restructure itself to allow Silverstone to be run in a more business-like manner, with the board looking more after members' interests and less after the circuit itself.
"If we can do that then Silverstone's problems become solvable," he said.
Bellm's re-appointment was one of several changes to the composition of the board. Ian Titchmarsh and Lord Beaverbrook join him as board members, replacing Alan Henry, Michael Ostroumoff and John Cardwell. Stuart Rolt remains chairman of the BRDC board.
Sir Jackie Stewart remains as a BRDC vice-president, along with Sir Jack Brabham, Martin Brundle, Ron Dennis, Sir Stirling Moss, Tim Parnell, Peter Scott Russell, John Surtees, Henry Taylor and Sir Frank Williams, Howden Ganley and Paddy Hopkirk.