Members of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) have voted in favour of leasing the Silverstone circuit to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), meaning negotiations between the two parties can continue.
JLR expressed an interest in leasing the circuit last year with BRDC chairman John Grant confirming in February that a vote would take place later in the year to canvas the opinion of its circuit-owning members.
That vote took place on Thursday with just over half its members voting in favour of the £25 million deal, which would see JLR secure a 249-year lease of the circuit and surrounding land, allowing it to develop a hotel and heritage centre.
The BRDC meanwhile would retain control of Silverstone Circuits Limited, meaning it would remain in charge of events like the British Grand Prix.
“The potential deal, which will only be completed if the board can agree terms with JLR that it believes to be in the best interests of the BRDC, would align Silverstone with two premier British brands and put the BRDC on a stronger financial footing,” a BRDC spokesperson said.
A second bid for the circuit has also emerged in recent days. Ginetta Cars boss Lawrence Tomlinson has made an offer to lease the circuit and the controlling company – unlike the JLR deal – which would see Tomlinson initially invest £5m and a further £1m each year whilst also taking on the BRDC’s liabilities.
Although a ‘yes’ vote allows negotiations with JLR to continue, BRDC bosses cannot negotiate with Tomlinson due to an exclusivity deal with the British car company which holds until July.