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Jaguar Land-Rover pulls out of Silverstone purchase talks

Silverstone has entered talks with a new bidder following the collapse of negotiations with Jaguar Land-Rover. It is believed to be an overseas investor with interests in the UK.

The British Racing Drivers Club, owners of the Northamptonshire circuit, were unable to agree terms with JLR after months of negotiations and their bid to acquire the circuit on a long term lease was withdrawn last week. One of the stumbling blocks was a contract with rival auto maker Porsche to use the circuit.

Another bid, by Ginetta racing car builder Laurence Tomlinson, was also withdrawn when deadlines were passed. But it is believed that interest from Motorsport Vision owner Jonathan Palmer remained on the table and was ‘being held in reserve’.


The BRDC is under considerable financial pressure to conclude a deal. In it’s last financial year, to December 2015, it lost £214,000 despite having a small increase in revenue to £56.4m. And although it it claimed a record attendance of 140,000 for the F1 British Grand Prix it finds the hosting fee of circa £20m, funded by ticket sales, crippling. It is the only one of the 21 events on the F1 calendar not being supported by state aid.

Silverstone’s financial problems poses a risk to the future of MotoGP in the UK. It rents the track to the Circuit of Wales which, despite the appointment of an investment bank, seems no nearer to raising the £300m necessary to build the circuit, hotels and surrounding business facilities. The patience of the Welsh government and Dorna, both of whom were supporting the proposal, is likely to be wearing thin. The only other circuit in the UK currently capable of staging MotoGP is Donington, said to be on standby.

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