Marquardt replaces Theissen at BMW Motorsport

Jens Marquardt is to leave Toyota Motorsport to become Mario Theissen's successor as BMW Motorsport Director next year.

"Heading up BMW Motorsport is a dream job for me and a tremendous show of confidence," said 43-year-old Marquardt. "The endurance events with the BMW M3, the broad-based customer sport programme, the promotion of junior racing talent and above all the DTM project are all fascinating challenges."

Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) president Yoshiaki Kinoshita said: "While we are naturally sad to lose Jens, we can understand why this was an opportunity he felt he had to take and we wish him the very best for his future.

"As well as his valued contribution to our F1 project from beginning to end, Jens has played a key role in TMG's emergence as a leading provider of high-performance engineering services and we are very grateful for his efforts. TMG has been aware of Jens' decision for some time. We are taking steps to strengthen our structure and ensure we can build on a very positive first year for TMG as a service supplier."

Since Toyota's decision to pull out of F1 a year ago, TMG has become a specialist engineering supplier, providing design, development and manufacturing for high-performance sectors but recently announced the end of a projected collaboration with the Hispania Racing Team in F1, over unpaid bills.

Theissen, BMW motorsport chief since 1999, oversaw the company's return to F1 with Williams 10 years ago, then masterminded the decision to buy Peter Sauber's Swiss operation and go it alone until the BMW board took the decision to pull the plug on F1 last year.

Theissen, 58, said: "We have planned and prepared this changeover very carefully. With the realignment of BMW Motorsport and the decision in favour of the DTM project, the path to a successful future on the race track has been mapped out. Now is the best time to entrust the leadership of BMW Motorsport to new hands. I have no doubt that in Jens Marquardt we have found the right man for this exciting task."

It is understood that Marquardt will work alongside Theissen for six months before the latter pursues a different role within the Munich company.

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