British Racing Drivers' Club Announces $51M Deal With MEPC To Develop Silverstone Circuit
British motor racing home Silverstone "has taken a major step towards securing its future," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. The British Racing Drivers' Club, which owns Silverstone, has announced a £32M ($51M) deal with property developer MEPC "that will allow development of the 800 acres around the Silverstone track." This is only the first move, "though, as a management buyout of the circuit is expected to be completed by the start of next month." MEPC, owned by the BT Pension Scheme and with a portfolio worth £700M ($1.1B), "moves onto Silverstone's industrial estate and land earmarked for development around the outside of the famous circuit with a 999-year lease." The £32M price for the lease will leave the BRDC debt-free after spending almost £40M ($63M) "carrying out massive improvements to Silverstone, mainly to hang onto the rights for the British Grand Prix, the nation's marquee motor racing event." The grand prix attracts 300,000 people over the three days of the event, "thought to be the biggest Formula One crowd of the year" (LONDON TIMES, 9/11). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported BRDC said in a statement that "the agreement does not include the management or development of Silverstone Circuit" (REUTERS, 9/11). AUTOSPORT reported BRDC Chair Stuart Rolt said that "MEPC had been carefully chosen." Rolt: "We have every confidence that their vision for our land will see the realization of a high-quality development, which will add to the ever growing status of Silverstone as a world-class center for motorsport and vehicle engineering" (AUTOSPORT, 9/11).