Multimatic announces today the appointment of Pascal Zurlinden, the former head of factory motorsport for Porsche, to the position of Director of Performance Engineering at Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations (MSVO). The highly respected automotive engineer joins Multimatic from Porsche where he led the marque to many motorsport successes in recent years.
As the Special Vehicle Operations group, which specialises in high performance vehicle development and runs Multimatic’s motorsport programmes, continues to grow, Zurlinden’s knowledge, expertise and experience will be an important asset to the organisation. Reporting directly to MSVO Executive Vice-President, Larry Holt, Zurlinden joins a uniquely qualified team tasked with making sure that Multimatic continues to lead the industry in performance vehicle development, motorsports engineering and competition operations.
Holt said: “We have worked with, and competed against, Pascal over the years and he has proven to be an outstanding technical partner as well as a tough adversary when we ran the Ford GT head to head against the Porsche 911 RSR. He is a highly skilled motorsport engineer with an extremely strong intuitive feel for race craft and a great approach to leading a team when subjected to the high pressure of competition. We are extremely fortunate to be able to have him join the MSVO team. As partners with Porsche on a number of motorsports programs it can only enhance both companies to keep Pascal in the fold.”
Zurlinden was instrumental in the birth of Porsche’s and Audi’s development process of their LMDh race cars, for which Multimatic is the chosen “spine” (chassis) constructor partner. All of his knowledge in that area will therefore still be exclusively available to Porsche and Audi and so there should be no loss of momentum with the programmes.
Whilst studying and after obtaining a master’s degree in motorsport engineering & management from Cranfield University, Zurlinden cut his teeth as an engineer across a broad spectrum of race categories, from single-seaters to DTM before joining Audi Sport in 2008.
The 39 year-old Frenchman first joined Porsche in 2014, working as an engineer on its world-beating LMP1 programme, then went on to take the reins of the factory GT programme where his leadership took Porsche to success in all of the blue riband GT races across the world. He assumed responsibility for all factory racing of the brand from 2019 onwards.
Zurlinden adds: “I am really looking forward to my new job and want to thank Larry and Multimatic for the trust they have placed in me. Of course, I’ve been following Multimatic in Motorsport and outside this field for many years as competitor and/or partner, and it’s something special for me to play a leading role in continuing the company’s success story on and off the race tracks.”