Werner Laurenz

Born in northern Germany, Laurenz studied at the Rheinisch-Westfalische Technishe Hochschule in Aachen, an exact contemporary of his future BMW colleague Mario Theissen. Unlike Theissen however Laurenz stayed on at Aachen as a postgraduate and received his doctorate in 1982, moving straight to Audi where he was put in charge of development programmes at the Neckarsulm factory. He stayed in engine development until 1987 when he was put in charge of engine development for Audi Sport's TransAm program in the United States. He remained with the company during its successful German Touring car assault in 1990 and 1991 when Hans Stuck and Frank Biela won titles and continued with Audi until 1994 when he left and set up a consultancy business researching recycling concepts. A year later he was hired by Tenneco Europe as the director of exhaust product engineering. In August 1999 he was appointed technical director of BMW, replacing Paul Rosche and his team of engineers who developed Rosche's initial V10 engine and then designed the all new P80 engine in 2001.

In 2003 he moved to become engineering director of Ilmor Engineering, his place at BMW being taken by Heinz Paschen.