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Friday, May 14, 1999 Published at 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK

F1 returns to Brands

The 1976 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch

The British Grand Prix will return to Brands Hatch after an absence of over a decade.

Karen Haynes: "The racing will start in 2002"
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone made the announcement in Monaco on Friday afternoon.

The race has not been held at the Kent circuit since 1986, with Silverstone in Northamptonshire enjoying an exclusive deal since then.

Dennis Rowan: "Silverstone was a great circuit"
That contract with the Formula One Authority expires in 2001, and Ecclestone negotiated the move with Brands Hatch Leisure Group in 2002.

Around 20m of improvements will be needed at the circuit, but Ecclestone said the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), which runs the Silverstone track, had turned down the chance to renew its contract.


He said: "I offered the BRDC the opportunity to renew their contract but they felt they were not in a position to do so.

Damon Hill: "Most drivers like to drive on a variety of tracks rather than just one"
"I am happy that I now have agreement to maintain a round of the FIA Formula One world championship in the UK until 2007."

The Brands Hatch Leisure Group is run by 31-year-old millionairess Nicola Foulston, who inherited the track from her father, after he died in a motor racing accident.

Miss Foulston said: "I am delighted to have secured the future of Grand Prix racing in Britain beyond 2001.

"I look forward to making this the biggest and most successful Grand Prix ever, which I believe will contribute to our strategy to position motor sport as a truly majority sport."

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