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BMW Motorsport Director Marquardt to Leave Position

BMW M division CEO Markus Flasch to take interim charge of manufacturer’s racing department…

Photo: BMW

BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt will leave his position at the end of this month to pursue a new role as head of the German manufacturer’s production Pilot Plant.

Marquardt, who has overseen BMW’s motorsport endeavors for almost a decade, will lead the company’s construction of prototype production models while his sporting role will be taken up on an interim basis by the CEO of BMW’s M brand Markus Flasch.

BMW confirmed its decision on Friday, while the change of roles will officially occur on Nov. 1. 

Marquardt was announced as BMW’s motorsport director in early 2011. During his time in that position, he presided over the company’s factory racing programs including its entries into Formula E and the GTE category with the M8.

“Jens Marquardt has been responsible for our involvement in motorsport since 2011,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.

“During this time, we have achieved great success: the DTM titles in 2012, 2014 and 2016, as well as various overall and class victories at endurance classics like Daytona, Spa and, most recently, the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.

“I would like to thank Jens Marquardt and his entire team very much for that. Head of the Pilot Plant for prototype construction is a fundamental role in the development process.

“With the agile working method and his motorsport experience, Jens Marquardt will provide new impetus there.”

Marquardt’s new position will see him lead the Pilot Plant team of around 700 staff who can work on up to six production car prototype projects at any time.

At the announcement of his move to a new position within BMW, Marquardt said he will “always have emotional memories” of the past decade as its motorsport director.

“I have experienced all the highs and lows of motorsport with an exceptional team,” he said.

“The overall victory at the Nürburgring 24-hour race [last month] was the icing on the cake at the end of this exciting time.

“‘I am very grateful to BMW Group and the whole motorsport family for all these memories. After 25 years in motorsport, I am very much looking forward to a new challenge.”

Marquardt’s interim successor Flasch became the CEO of BMW’s M high-performance division in 2018 and recently oversaw the launch of the new M4 coupe, which is being developed alongside the 2022 BMW M4 GT3 racer.

A statement from BMW confirmed that its factory programs in Formula E and GT racing will continue, although timelines were not set for the future of these projects.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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