by Rob Wilkins


Former British Racing Drivers' Club board member Tony Jardine has said the BRDC's plans to re-develop Silverstone in order to keep the British Grand Prix post-2009 are by no means fanciful.

Speaking exclusively to Radio earlier this week, Jardine added that the 'Master Plan' is definitely on course to transform the Northamptonshire-based track and ensure F1 ringmaster, Bernie Ecclestone is happy to keep the circuit on the schedule when the current contract expires.

"Bernie wants what we want. Both parties agree on that and in the past it hasn't happened quickly enough and Bernie has seen the plans and simply said now: 'Look, I don't want to hear any more about it, get on with it' and that is fine and that is what we are doing," noted Jardine, "but of course the processes take time and that is what we are waiting for.

"This is not 'pie in the sky', a drawing up on a board or some architects plans. These are concrete plans that have been put in to the local councils for all the necessary planning permissions."

Asked how things are going at the moment, he added that everything is on course.

"Things are going very well. The current situation is that we have got a planning application in for the initial development at Silverstone and we are expecting to get planning permission back before the end of the year," he continued. "That is what we have been told and we are hoping that is all positive.

"There are a series of, shall we say, 'teachings' and forums going on with the members [of the BRDC], just the final forums to make sure everybody knows exactly what the plan is.

"But the long term vision remains the same of developing Silverstone into a fantastic centre where we can have education, where you would be able to have a conference, where you can have retail, as well as sport - and everybody knows you cannot make a living just from motorsport alone these days."

Pressed on when people will start seeing some 'action', Jardine noted that while that is down to the planners, things should start happening in 2008.

"We are going through the processes [at the moment]. You have to patiently wait until the planners come back. We also have to take into consideration that the members themselves through the EGM, have to finally rubber-stamp the plan, the 'Master Plan'. But I would say we are at a very advanced stage and hopefully you will start to see next year the plan in action.

"Those are the aims, but it is really down to the members to finally rubber-stamp it and then it is down to the planners to give us the permission we require. All the plans are in place. We are fed up talking about it too. We'd love action but we have got to hang on," he summed-up.




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