Silverstone boss put on ‘leave’

Things continue to get a little odd at Silverstone as the home of Formula 1’s British Grand Prix have suspended its boss, Patrick Allen, due to his close relationship with a potential buyer.

It seems that Lawrence Tomlinson is bidding to take over the circuit but the current owners, the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), have placed Allen on leave of absence. They said:

“the British Racing Drivers’ Club can confirm that Patrick Allen is currently on a leave of absence from Silverstone Circuit but as this is a private matter we cannot comment further”.

It’s an interesting move given the situation and the challenges the circuit faces in finding a new buyer. The BRDC is looking to sell a 249-year lease on the track to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) but it seems that Porsche have the power to block any rival from using the circuit more than 45 days per year. Not sure how that came about but it is an odd situation to be sure. This came to light when JLR were keen to use the circuit as a performance and test track with facilities and employees all located there.

Allen was the commercial director for Tomlinson’s LNT Group which owns Ginetta and joined Silverstone back in 2014. He promptly began turning things around at the circuit and getting the circuit back to profitability for the first time in a decade. Though to suspend a guy who has been a critical part of your revenue stream and profitability after such a long time of losses.

On one hand that seems to sound like an indictment of Allen and his ability to remain impartial but I suspect it is more of a propriety move to remove any doubts and protect all parties involved so there is never a shadow of doubt that anyone was compromised in the process.

Hat Tip: City A.M.