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Silverstone staying put

NEWS STORY
19/05/2009

Given the economic downturn, now isn't the best time to be selling anything. Not a house, not a car and certainly not a race track.

This is what ran through the mind of Pitpass' business editor Chris Sylt when he read the reports over the weekend that Silverstone's owners' the BRDC, may put the Northamptonshire circuit up for sale. Sylt immediately got in touch with Damon Hill and soon wondered why the authors of the original articles didn't do the same since the reality is quite different to what has been printed thus far.

"As usual there is more guess work in these reports than understanding," says Hill, adding that "the BRDC... is committed, as ever, to developing Silverstone to the highest standard of venue possible, and preserving it as such in perpetuity for the benefit of this country and the whole motor sport community."

So, what was the source for the original reports? Well, BRDC chairman Robert Brooks has sent a letter to the Club's members about selling Silverstone but in fact the truth is different.

According to Hill, the BRDC "plans to discuss (at three forthcoming forums with its members) removing itself from the business management of the asset as one possible route for the club to take in order for it to best achieve these aims."

In other words, the BRDC may bring in a company to manage the circuit but not to buy it. You can see how the original authors made the mistake but why they didn't bother to check it remains to be seen.

A well placed source told Pitpass that with the British Grand Prix lost, the best way forward for the BRDC and Silverstone would be to bring in some foreign investors, bring in a CEO, bring in some money, divest the club of its commercial operations, putting Silverstone on the unlisted market and turning Silverstone Circuits into a PLC, making full use of the Silverstone brand.

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