Silverstone Managing Director Patrick Allen has been given ‘leave of absence’ from his position by owners the British Racing Drivers Club, according to an influential City newspaper, just weeks before the British MotoGP round.
Under the headline ‘Silverstone boss suspended amid takeover row’ City AM and F1 journalist Christian Sylt quotes a BRDC spokesman as saying: “Patrick Allen is currently on leave of absence from Silverstone circuit but as this is a private matter we cannot comment further.”
However, the matter is understood to involve bids to buy the circuit. The recent bid by the Jaguar Land Rover Group to buy the heavily loss making circuit, reportedly £55.9m in the last five years, for £33m has stalled over complications on track useage.
It is reported that a rival bid has been tabled by Lawrence Tomlinson of the LNT Group, makers of Ginetta racing cars and former business associate of Mr Allen.
Silverstone, home to MotoGP and F1 Grands Prix, has experienced financial difficulties in recent years leading to the sale of surrounding land to pay off bank debts; the loss of Moto GP to the Circuit of Wales; the departure of former MD Richard Phillips and now the present problems.
It is expected that Sporting Director Stuart Pringle will take over and that there should be no interruption to the British MotoGP next month.