Karl-Heinz KalbfellEnlarge Photo
Auto industry veteran Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, aged 63, was killed in a motorcycle crash on Saturday at Brands Hatch in the U.K. He was practicing for a classic motorcycle race when the tragic accident occurred. He allegedly came off his bike while exiting a corner and was struck by another rider. He eventually succumbed to his injuries at the nearby Darenth Valley hospital.
Kalbfell had an illustrious career in the auto industry. He is probably best known for his time at BMW where he led the automaker’s motorsport operations for a period and was influential in the development of some M cars as well as engines for BMW’s F1 cars.
He also held senior positions at Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Rolls-Royce during his career and more recently he served as an advisor to sports car brands Lotus and Artega.
Below is a statement released by BMW:
"We received the news of the tragic accident with great sadness.
"BMW Motorsport mourns an amazing person and a passionate racer. For many years he was a formative figure and a driving force behind BMW Motorsport and BMW M.
"In these difficult circumstances, our thoughts are with his family."