Group claims Brit GP is saved

Brand Synergy, the group that has been involved in negotiations about the future of the British GP, has claimed that it has saved the race after agreeing a deal with Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone

Group claims Brit GP is saved

After a week of intense talks and speculation surrounding the fate of the event, with the FIA's World Council due to issue a provisional 2005 calendar on Wednesday, the woman heading the consortium claims that the event will now go ahead.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live on Saturday, Kim Cockburn said: "We've saved the British Grand Prix and we're keeping it at Silverstone."

The new deal still has to be ratified by Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), and Cockburn said that the club had required more time to evaluate the proposal. In the meantime, she hoped that Ecclestone himself could become promoter of the event.

"We've been in discussions with the BRDC for a couple of months and we've also been in discussions with Bernie Ecclestone. Bernie was happy with us to sign a seven-year deal. However the BRDC have decided they need more time to consider our proposal.

"We feel the way forward is for Bernie Ecclestone to keep the promotional rights and to promote the race at Silverstone until the BRDC can reach an agreement."

Brand Synergy's optimism about the deal that it has struck with Ecclestone has come despite a word of caution from the BRDC on Friday evening.

A statement issued by the club said: "The BRDC today said that it was still considering a number of alternative proposals for the future retention of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. These options include some proposals that have been submitted by Mr. Ecclestone in the last 24 hours.

"The BRDC states that it will carefully evaluate all options and will work tirelessly with all parties concerned to retain the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the pre-eminence of the sport and industry in the United Kingdom."

One scenario is for Ecclestone to take over the promotion of the event, in exchange for the BRDC providing the circuit free of charge for the grand prix weekend.

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