Anyone Want a Race Course?

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Seriously, this statement, issued by the R.A.C. on May 17th, is disturbing. We can only hope that the B.R.D.C. may have a solution—perhaps the best one would be the restoration of Donington as a circuit.

In 1948, since Brooklands and the Donington Circuits were no longer available, the Royal Automobile Club leased from the Air Ministry, who would then only deal with the R.A.C. as the governing body of the sport in this country, Silverstone Aerodrome for motor racing.

Whilst the R.A.C. felt at that time that It was in principle inadvisable to own a race track, it considered in the light of all the circumstances then prevailing, it was its duty to “prime the pump” of motor sport in the immediate post-war period, in spite of the possible heavy risk involved in connection with the upkeep of the track.

The R.A.C. considers that in providing at Silverstone facilities for Grand Prix and other major events, for the testing of vehicles, and particularly by making available the use of the circuit for smaller Club meetings throughout the summer months, it has done much towards the re-establishment and encouragement of motor sport.

Whilst the R.A.C. is most anxious for such facilities as have existed at Silverstone or elsewhere to be continued, it has come to the conclusion that it is inappropriate that it should continue to remain the lessee of a motor racing circuit, and that the Club’s continuance of a lease at Silverstone may deter other interested and suitable bodies, who would be acceptable to the authorities, making arrangements of a more permanent character either there or elsewhere.

The R.A.C. thinks it right to give early notice of its decision not to continue its lease of the track after 1951, and in order that the opportunity may be taken by others it will offer its good offices with the various authorities to any suitable organisation considering schemes to meet the needs of motor racing in the future. Interested organisations will recognise the importance of this in view of the necessity to obtain the Royal Automobile Club’s approval of any proposed circuit.