The efforts of the BRDC board to attract serious investment from outside sources to shore up the future of Silverstone took a step forward today when the members voted to allow the board to entertain offers.
It has been rumoured that investors from the Gulf are interested in buying in. This should not be confused with a sale, as Silverstone is ring fenced as an asset from sale, a move made several years ago when it was under threat from various sides.
The BRDC board can now go out and find investment partners willing to put capital into infrastructure projects such as technology centres and the pits and new buildings demanded by Bernie Ecclestone. Of course as things stand they do not have the contract for the British Grand Prix. Donington has that, but has been told by Bernie Ecclestone that if it cannot show him a bank guarantee at the end of September which gives him confidence that the funds are in place, he will take the race back to Silverstone. Today’s development strengthens Silverstone’s hand in this long running saga.
But there is a wider picture than just F1, as the statement from the BRDC tonight explained,
“The BRDC’s long term objective is to develop further Silverstone’s motor sport infrastructure, related technologies, education and training and to ensure that the UK continues to be the global leader in these specialist areas, ” it said.
Damon Hill, President of the BRDC said “This vote is a significant result for the future of Silverstone. Today’s EGM was not about selling Silverstone. BRDC Members were voting on whether or not the Board should be authorised to approach and negotiate deals, with potential investors, on behalf of the Club. It is purely commercial. “