Warwick happy with new deal
BRDC president Derek Warwick is convinced an "amazing deal" has been done to secure the future of Silverstone and the British GP.
Earlier this month the British Racing Drivers' Club confirmed commercial property developer MEPC had paid £32million for a 999-year lease on the Silverstone Industrial Estate and land around the outside of the circuit, on which planning permission has already been granted.
Next up, the BRDC is due to announce a similar lease deal with an as yet unknown third party for the circuit land itself, via a management buyout, by the time of the club's AGM on October 4.
That will bring to an end the BRDC's three-year search for investors as MEPC will now carry out the club's 'masterplan' that includes the building of hotels, technical college, business and science parks and a motorsport museum.
With regard to the third party, they will continue to develop the track itself with regard to tunnels, bridges, debenture grandstands and the linking of the 'Wing' that houses the pits and paddock to the rest of the circuit.
The BRDC had hoped for an all-in-one sale, but instead were forced to strike two different deals, and in a volatile financial climate.
Speaking for the first time about the deals, Warwick said: "MEPC are going to be great partners of the BRDC, I'm sure.
"They understand the BRDC and our heritage, what we stand for, and they want us to be a part of the development in terms of seeing what is going on and how it's going to develop.
"They are a very enthusiastic group of people, and their developments - if you've seen some of the ones they've done - are spot on, 100 per cent.
"We were very close with other deals, but in the end it was important to get a British company that respected and understood what the BRDC stands for.
"So we are really chuffed we've been able to get them to come along with us and spend the kind of money they are going to have to spend.
"It's good for us, good for Silverstone, and good for the employment of people around Silverstone."
As for one of sport's "crown jewels" as Warwick describes it - the circuit - he added: "We've an agreement in principle with a third party for the circuit land, and we hope to get that over the line before the AGM.
"I'm looking forward to this next part of the deal.
"I'm not sure all the members will enjoy....how can I put this - our members have wanted us to separate club from business for a long time now, and hopefully by October 4 we will have achieved that.
"We will become a racing drivers' club again. We're not business people, we haven't anybody who can work full time, so we will become a racing club for people to go and watch motor racing."
Warwick insists the BRDC "needed both deals", and it was not the case MEPC could come on go board and the Club continue to run the circuit.
"From the outside I'm confident we've done the best deal around," added Warwick.
"In selling in today's market we have done an amazing deal under the circumstances. We really have, given the financial climate.
"There are not many people who have the foresight like the people at MEPC.
"They're not thinking in today's mentality, they're thinking in five, 10, 15 years' time.
"That is what is good about MEPC, that we have somebody not just thinking about what's happening today.
"Because if all we had talked about is today then the deal would have been a lot different."