Second bidder comes forward for potential Silverstone sale

A second bid for Silverstone will be laid out alongside a proposed purchase by Jaguar Land Rover to members of the circuit-owning British Racing Drivers' Club this week

Second bidder comes forward for potential Silverstone sale

Ginetta Cars boss Lawrence Tomlinson, a former club director and owner of the LNT Group, has made an offer after he and a group of fellow members wrote a letter to the club last week arguing that the JLR deal would leave it "having to protect rather than promote British motor racing".

The letter sent to the full 820-plus membership urged a 'no' vote at an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for this Thursday, which the BRDC board has called to seek a mandate to proceed with negotiations with Indian-owned JLR.

There will still be a yes/no vote on whether to continue pursuing the JLR deal, but Tomlinson's bid will also be discussed.

BRDC chairman John Grant told Autosport in a prepared statement: "I can confirm that the members of the BRDC have received an offer from Lawrence Tomlinson that he wishes to put forward as an alternative to the JLR deal, which will be the subject of discussion at the forthcoming EGM on Thursday.

"The BRDC board have agreed to facilitate this because it is important for members to have all relevant information to inform their decision."

Grant stressed that no "detailed discussion or negotiation" had taken place with Tomlinson because it was bound by a period of exclusivity agreed with JLR and parent company Tata Motors.

Should the membership vote yes on Thursday, no further mandate would be required for the sale to go ahead.

HOW THE TWO OFFERS DIFFER

The JLR deal would involve the BRDC leasing the circuit to JLR for a 249-year period, with the club retaining the Silverstone Circuits Limited operating company.

Grant believes that the majority of members "want to retain an involvement in motor racing at Silverstone".

It argues that the JLR deal would put its finances on a sound footing with a cash injection, a sum of £33million in staged payments, at the same time as allowing it to continue to operate the circuit.

Tomlinson wants to take over the entire Silverstone business.

He would match JLR's initial payment, believed to be approaching £5million, and take on the BRDC's liabilities, which with the British Grand Prix contract are calculated to amount to £15-20million.

He would then pay £1million annually to lease the circuit and the SCL business.

Tomlinson and his group argued in their letter that the lease to JLR would leave the BRDC financially vulnerable because the club would still retain the burden of the on-going contract with Formula 1 Management (FOM) to host the grand prix.

The letter also claimed that JLR's expansion plans would put the infrastructure of the circuit at risk and that, should the grand prix be lost, SCL would be unable to diversify its business because it would only have control of the land within the national circuit.

Grant countered these and other arguments in a response to the membership.

"The board has tried to retain the SCL business while reducing the associated risks," he wrote.

"The JLR deal would enable us to do this... it is more than enough to settle our debts and commitments."

He claimed that Tomlinson's point on JLR's expansion was incorrect.

"Silverstone will only be used for customer-facing and heritage-type activities," he explained.

He stressed that there would be "legally binding agreements that they will do nothing that would cause destruction of major events".

The negotiations with JLR and the Tomlinson bid follow the breakdown of a potential sale of Silverstone to an undisclosed buyer in 2014.

shares
comments
Ecclestone confirms discussions with European Union on F1 structure

Previous article

Ecclestone confirms discussions with European Union on F1 structure

Next article

Pirelli and FIA close to signing F1 contract extension

Pirelli and FIA close to signing F1 contract extension
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021