Jaguar Land Rover inches closer to Silverstone deal

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Jaguar Land Rover remains the frontrunner to purchase Silverstone after a crucial decision this week by the British Racing Drivers' Club, current owners of the circuit that is home to the British Grand Prix.

The BRDC held an extraordinary meeting about the Northamptonshire site on Thursday, and voted to continue exclusive negotiations with Jaguar Land Rover about the future of the site.

Reports say that the vote to pursue exclusive negotiations with Jaguar Land Rover was "close" and "very evenly balanced".

The decision means that Ginetta owner Lawrence Tomlinson, who is also believed to have put forward an offer, has now been blocked from negotiating an alternative deal with the BRDC until at least July.

According to the BBC, the deal is thought to offer the prospect of a £33m injection of cash in return for a 249-year lease on the circuit. The BRDC will still own the rights to the British Grand Prix and will continue to be responsible for the cost of hosting the event which was first staged at Silverstone in 1950.

"The potential deal ... would align Silverstone with two premier British brands and put the BRDC on a stronger financial footing," a spokeswoman said.

“Jaguar Land Rover regularly evaluates opportunities to support its long-term and sustainable growth in the UK," added a spokesman for Jaguar Land Rover. "As part of this, we are exploring potential options at Silverstone with the BRDC, but it is too soon to share details at this stage.

“All discussions remain confidential," the spokesman added.

Additional media reports suggest that Jaguar Land Rover, which has been owned by India's Tata Motors since 2008, is planning to turn the site into a "heritage centre" to showcase the company's rapidly expanding range of vehicles. Silverstone would also be used as a base for UK offices, a hotel and a visitor centre.

Daimler already operates a similar venture, Mercedes-Benz World, in London that offers family days, driving experiences, guided tours and simulated rides.

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