Derek Warwick takes over from Damon Hill as BRDC president
|By Jamie O'Leary
||Thursday, August 25th 2011, 17:12 GMT
Derek Warwick has been elected as president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, succeeding Damon Hill, who announced earlier this year that he was to step down from the role.
Warwick, who started 147 Formula 1 grands prix and won both the Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Sportscar Championship as a driver, was confirmed in the role at the BRDC's Annual General Meeting on Thursday.
He intends to use his new position to focus on the further development of Silverstone, which is owned by the BRDC, and to support young British talent on its way up through the motorsport ranks.
"The BRDC and Silverstone face an exciting future. We now have a 21st century race circuit with 21st century facilities; over the next 5-10 years we have the opportunity to continue developing Silverstone into the best motorsport venue in the world," he said.
"The immediate focus is on securing third party investment in Silverstone, to realise the full potential of the 760-acre estate. While the president is a non-voting member of the BRDC board, I will continue to work closely with the board as we seek and consider opportunities with suitable third parties.
"I am also passionate about supporting our young British drivers. It is important to me that the Club is a place that young drivers want to come to. Us older members are the heart and soul of the BRDC, but the younger drivers are our future. That's why I'll remain very much involved with programmes such as the McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award, of which I am chairman."
Outgoing president Hill believes that Warwick will be a success in his time in the role.
He said: "Derek Warwick has lived the life of a professional racing driver and reached the very top of his profession. He knows what it takes to win, and he knows what if feels like to lose.
"I believe that this Club should always have at its helm a racing driver who has lived that life. Derek will, I have absolutely no doubt, serve this Club with the same determination and integrity with which he displayed to the world as a professional racing driver.
"Many congratulations to Derek on becoming the next BRDC president. I wish him and the Club every success for the future."