Helmut Marko (* April 27, 1943 in Graz ) is a former Austrian race car driver. He won in 1971 the prestigious 24 - hour race at Le Mans and launched from 1971 to 1972 in nine Formula 1 race.
Since 2005, Marko serves as Head of Motorsport at the Austrian beverage company Red Bull, which has its own Formula 1 racing team with the Red Bull Racing team. In addition, he is also responsible for the junior program for Red Bull Racing.
Life and career
Youth and studies
In his youth, Helmut Marko visited with his longtime friend and future Formula 1 world champion Jochen Rindt high school in Bad Aussee. In the early 1960s he enrolled in law, but also began to work with Rindt, active in motorsports to be active. However, on his parents' pressure to go, he finished his studies first. In 1967 he became a Doctor of Law.
Immediately after graduation, he began his active racing career with sports car racing and race of the Formula V. In 1969 he went into the formula 3.
His breakthrough in racing managed Marko in July 1971, when he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 917 together with Dutchman Gijs van Lennep. Marko van Lennep and presented in this race with a distance record 5335.313 kilometers, which corresponds to an average speed of 222.304 km / h including pit stops. This record was also conditionally surpassed by the modifications to the circuit, only 39 years later in the race in 2010.
At the Grand Prix of Germany 1971, Marko tried unsuccessfully to qualify for a Formula 1 race in a McLaren - Ford. Two weeks later, he took the Grand Prix of Austria in a BRM P153 first part in a Grand Prix. He finished the race with two laps down in eleventh place.
In May 1972, he finished with an Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 at the Targa Florio in second place with 33:41 minutes and set a lap record that has not been offered up to the attitude of the race in 1977.
After Marko had a preliminary agreement under were writing with Ferrari for the Formula 1 1973 season, he was hit in his overall ninth Formula 1 race, the French Grand Prix in 1972 at the Circuit de Charade in Clermont- Ferrand, of a stone, to the March had thrown 721 of Ronnie Peterson. This pierced his visor and inflicting a severe injury to his left eye, which meant the end of his active motorsport career. Marko bares a prosthetic eye.
Entrepreneurs and team boss
After the forced end career in racing Helmut Marko rose without a gastronomic education in the hospitality industry and opened the Schlossberg and the Augarten Hotel in Graz. For the interior design of his houses he had especially young Austrian artists come to train.
In 1984 he founded the RSM Marko Team, a decrease to 1989 in the DTM at the start. From the mid- 1980s, joined the team on even in the German Formula 3 Championship, and won the championship here in 1989 with Karl Wendlinger and 1994, with Jörg Müller. From 1996 to 2003, the team went to in the International Formula 3000 Championship, and won the title here in the debut year with Jörg Müller.
Marko worked for many drivers of his team, including Gerhard Berger and Karl Wendlinger, even as a manager. In the 1990s, he became a consultant for junior issues at Red Bull team and from 2003 head of the Red Bull Junior team in Formula 3000 where he and Juan Pablo Montoya talents paved the way to Formula 1. In 2005, he returned as head of motorsport by Red Bull in Formula 1, when the company took over the team Jaguar Racing, and since then continues under the name of Red Bull Racing.