Moves by Jaguar Land Rover to buy the Silverstone circuit are getting closer as the firm’s bid met a “favourable response” from members of the British Racing Driver’s Club, the current owners.
Rumours that JLR was pursuing the purchase first surfaced last December. At the time, the BRDC said it had not received any formal offers from the carmaker, adding that if any serious offers were tabled it would “seek a mandate from club members before progressing it.”
According to Autosport, a potential deal has now been presented to members who reacted positively. Club president Derek Warwick said: “The deal is definitely not done yet. There’s still a lot of work to do to get the deal to where both sides are happy and more importantly what’s right for the BRDC and its members. Having said that, we are well down the road.”
Warwick added that an extraordinary general meeting will be held for members to vote on the proposal.
The BRDC signed a 17-year deal to host the British Grand Prix in 2009, but has struggled to make a profit on the event as it has to pay a huge hosting fee and only gets to keep revenues from ticket sales, by far the smallest chunk of money the race generates. A purchase by JLR would safeguard both the Grand Prix’s future, and that of the comprehensive – albeit largely loss-making – programme of motorsport the circuit hosts every year.
Alongside racing activities, JLR’s plans are rumoured to include the relocation of 1,700 sales, marketing and engineering staff to the site, and building new brand experience and heritage centres, a museum and a five-star hotel.
By Only Motors