Dr.Helmut Marko (born April 27, 1943 in Graz) is a former racing driver from Austria.
As an friend of Jochen Rindt, he entered racing, and eventually participated in 10 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 15August 1971.
However, he had more success in endurance racing, winning the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving a Martini-Porsche 917K with Gijs van Lennep. During that year, they set a new overall distance record which is still unbeaten (5,335.313 km, at an average of 222.304 km/h).Despite being concerned about the lack of safety at the Targa Florio, he drove the fastest laps the mountains of Sicily in order to catch up several minutes, eventually losing by a mere second. On 21 May 1972, Helmut Marko set the all-time race lap record of the 720 km event in an Alfa Romeo 33 at 33 min 41 sec, at an average of 128.253 km/h.A few weeks later on 2 July, during the 1972 French Grand Prix, a stone thrown from Ronnie Peterson's March, due to "cutting the corners" at the Charade Circuit which had no curbs at the time, hit Marko in the eye as his visor got pierced. The injury damaged his eye, leaving him partially blind, ending his racing career.
Dr. Marko is also a barrister, and opened two hotels in Graz - "Schlossberghotel" and "Augartenhotel art&design" - after his racing career ended. Later, he returned to motor sport to become a manager for Gerhard Berger and Karl Wendlinger, before running his own Formula 3 and Formula 3000 team, RSM Marko. After being in charge Red Bull driver training programme (one of the participating drivers was Juan Pablo Montoya), since 2005 he has been involved with the Formula One Red Bull Racing Team as an advisor.