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Stormy times ahead at Silverstone

NEWS STORY
22/07/2008

Two weeks ago, inclement weather helped create a classic race at Silverstone. Today, an entirely different kind of storm is brewing over the Northamptonshire track.

Following the news that Silverstone has lost the British Grand Prix to Donington, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) appears to be in crisis, with its Board facing a vote of confidence.

With the GP contract lost, there is little likelihood of the planned redevelopment being approved by South Northamptonshire District Council - one councillor telling a Pitpass source that the enablement brief "will be dead in the water now that the contract has gone elsewhere", meaning that the millions spent by the club were for nothing.

The BRDC membership was already divided over the whole issue of the Grand Prix and the ambitious redevelopment plans aimed at retaining it, now that the contract has been lost, and millions wasted, there is serious talk of mutiny, with many members feeling "totally exasperated". A situation certainly not helped by the BRDC Board's failing to issue a statement to members since the Donington announcement was made over two weeks ago.

The Property Advisory Group, which is drawn from highly experienced members in the property sector, recently made a statement to the membership claiming that the Board had acted against their original recommendations. There is now sufficient evidence that the membership will take matters into their own hands and call for the Board to stand aside.

John Fitzpatrick, a past Director of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) and Silverstone Circuits Ltd, who was also the Club's membership Secretary for many years, recently e-mailed the membership in order to sample its views as to what should now be done and announcing an "anonymous" poll on the club's website.

The questions are as follows:

  • Are you happy with the way the Board have conducted the Grand Prix Contract and planning applications.
  • Do you think that the Board should resign over the recent loss of the Grand Prix contract/ planning and them having breached the member's mandate, as well as the unlikely outcome of the enablement brief now being approved?
  • Do you think that the Board should be asked to resign if they fail to do so themselves?
  • Would you attend an informal (independently chaired) meeting of Members to discuss a sensible, prudent future policy direction for the Club with a whole new 5 year business plan?
  • Announcing the poll, Fitzpatrick wrote:

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