As exit nears, Capito calls for WRC change
As Jost Capito’s exit from Volkswagen Motorsport nears, he urged the World Rally Championship to reconsider his planned radical change to the sport.
Capito said his concept of dividing the time gaps by 10 for the final day to provide closer competition remained key to the series’ future growth.
He said: “I am still convinced dividing the final day gaps by 10 is still the best decision. For me, I strongly believe this is the thing to put WRC on the level of Formula 1 in the public eye.”
After getting the green light from WRC Commission in September 2014, the plan was finally rejected by World Motor Sport Council.
Capito continued: “If we did this plan, the people would get interested because of this really exciting hour of rallying on Sunday and then they would become real rally fans interested in Friday and Saturday as well. They would become pure fans and the whole thing would move forward. With more interest from sponsors, manufacturers, everybody.
“There’s nothing wrong with this idea, it’s not like reverse grids or anything like that. This is not a revolution. If Seb [Ogier] is running first on Friday and Saturday, he would still have the chance to win on Sunday because the gap is never that big that he can’t get it done on Sunday. This would be more sporting – what they have done to the running order [making the championship leader run first on the road] is more unsporting than this idea.”
WRC manager Jarmo Mahonen – originally convinced by the idea – is more sceptical now.
“For me this is a little bit too far away from the sport,” he said. “For me we have to keep the fundamental elements of rallying. This is my personal point of view: if you are driving in the forests and doing your best for three days, then you decide everything on the last stage. I’m not sure.
“I understand everything from the potential exposure point of view, but aren’t we walking away from the DNA of rally? We are going to have five manufacturers in WRC and I’d be very careful to decide something that goes so far from the DNA.”