After more than 12 years in charge of BMW Motorsport, Director Mario Theissen is retiring on 30 June 2011. His position will be filled by 43 year-old Jens Marquardt, who will join the company on 1 January 2011.
Initially, Marquardt will work alongside Theissen for the first six months to familiarize himself with his new task. This will ensure the seamless execution of the 2011 racing program, including the important preparations for the new 2012 DTM project.
“We have planned and prepared this changeover very carefully,” explained Theissen. “With the realignment of BMW Motorsport and the decision in favor of the DTM project, the path to a successful future on the race track has been mapped out. Now is also the best time to entrust the leadership of BMW Motorsport to new hands. I have no doubt that Jens Marquardt is the right man for this exciting task and I look forward to working together.”
Marquardt commented: “Heading BMW Motorsport is a dream job for me and a tremendous show of confidence. The endurance events with the BMW M3, the broad-based customer sport program, the promotion of junior racing talent, and above all the DTM project are all fascinating challenges. I know Mario will support me in every way and I can hardly wait to get down to work.”
Theissen joined BMW on 15 June 1977 as a development engineer. He took on various responsibilities in engine development before going on to run the BMW Innovation Centers in Munich and Palo Alto. Theissen has been in charge of BMW’s motorsport program since 1 April 1999.
Marquardt has a degree in aerospace technology, but turned to a career in engine development. From 1996-2000 he worked for Ilmor Engineering on the development of Formula One and CART engines. He joined Toyota Motorsport in 2000, initially working in the Formula One engine department, and then from 2008 as F1 Operations and Team Manager. His most recent post was as General Manager Business Development, Operations & Production.