The story of the British Racing Drivers' Club started way back in the days of the famous Bentley team that so effectively, and romantically, dominated the racing scene - Le Mans in particular - during the late 1920s.
The founder of the BRDC, Dr. J. D. Benjafield, one of the famed 'Bentley Boys' at Le Mans, was keen to organise dinner parties after races for his friends and drivers. It was these dinner parties which were the seeds from which grew the highly prestigious and much respected British Racing Drivers' Club we know today.
The Club was inaugurated early in 1928, with 25 members and a clear set of objectives. These were to promote the interests of motor sport generally; to celebrate any specific performance in motor sport; to extend hospitality to racing drivers from overseas; and to further the interests of British drivers competing abroad.
At that time, Membership was restricted to racing drivers of proven success and experience, and quickly grew following the decision of the BRDC to move into race organisation. The first Club-organised event, the BRDC 500-Mile Race, took place at Brooklands in October 1929 and the BRDC badge quickly established itself as a regular feature on overalls worn by the Club pioneer drivers.
After the Second World War, the BRDC became a major force in international motor racing, taking over the lease of Silverstone from the RAC in 1952 and subsequently purchasing the site's freehold from the Ministry of Defence in 1971. The Club, through its wholly-owned subsidiary company, Silverstone Circuits Limited (formed in 1966 to develop the commercial aspects of the property), then set in motion a major redevelopment of what had been a wartime bomber training base producing one of the foremost motor racing facilities in the world. A Masterplan for the development of Silverstone is currently being implemented.
Silverstone Circuits Limited promote a number of major international race meetings at Silverstone, including the British Grand Prix, plus rounds of the FIA GT Championships, The British Touring Car Championship, Le Mans Series, British Superbike, British F3-GT and, from 2010, the MotoGP World Championship.
As a Club, the BRDC has grown to become the most prestigious motor racing club in the world and today, membership totals over 800.