Stewart's role threatened in BRDC power struggle

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The Independent Online

As the revered team owner Ken Tyrrell lay dying, he made Sir Jackie Stewart promise to take over his role as president of the British Racing Drivers' Club. But today Stewart will learn whether a bitter battle with the former chairman Ray Bellm will result in him losing the presidency and his position on the board.

As 500 BRDC members vote at an extraordinary general meeting, Bellm, sacked in January after arguments over the way that he agreed a deal with Formula One's commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, to save Silverstone's British Grand Prix, insists his dispute with Stewart is not a vendetta. "This is not personal. We simply believe that the board should be run by the chairman, not the president."

The president has held a board vote since the club was inaugurated 76 years ago and Stewart sees it very much as a personal fight."My integrity and credibility are being questioned," he said.

If Stewart is deposed, several illustrious names are likely to resign. The former world champion Jody Scheckter said: "I cannot see the negative in the club being represented by a self-made, three times world champion, former grand prix team owner, who has always demonstrated the highest level of integrity. Additionally, Jackie has always shown caring and respect for much less privileged people, which cannot be said of many others."