Porsche Has Blocked Jaguar Land Rover’s Buyout of Britain’s Silverstone Race Track
Another buyer is also now in the cards.
A technicality in a lease between the current management of Silverstone and Porsche has locked Jaguar Land Rover out of its £33 million (roughly $42.7 million) proposal to buy out the track.
The German automaker leases a part of the property to run its driving experience center. According to The Telegraph, Porsche's rental agreement with Silverstone states that competing automakers cannot be allowed to use the circuit for more than 45 days each year.
A senior member with the group that owns Silverstone, the British Racing Drivers Club, told The Telegraphthat JLR knew about the restriction but thought the two automakers would be able to "sort it out" after the buyout was completed. However, according to the report, it seems Porsche has no intentions of letting the track slide out of its obligations.
Before Porsche derailed its plans, JLR reportedly intended to use Silverstone as a full-on automotive retreat center for its customers. The British automaker purportedly planned on letting owners use the course as a test track; it also hoped to build a hotel, a museum, and an office center for up to 1,000 personnel at the track.
JLR and the BDRC agreed to the multi-million dollar deal back in April, but the transaction's completion is looking less and less likely. In addition to the hit from Porsche, the BRDC was also approached with a counter-offer from engineer and race team owner Lawrence Tomlinson, The Telegraph reports.
Whether JLR, Tomlinson, or another party purchases Silverstone, though, the track is desperate for an influx of funds. “We have no cash reserves to fund future development of the circuit,” the BDRC told members earlier this year.