AUF WIEDERSEHEN JOST Time to say good­bye

As the VW chief de­parts for Mclaren, Capito bares all to MN. By David Evans

Motor Sport News - - Capito’s Farewell -

Capito’s re­place­ment was con­firmed as cur­rent team-man­ager Sven Smeets on Mon­day, and the out­go­ing team boss says the foun­da­tions have been laid to main­tain the firm’s dom­i­na­tion into world ral­ly­ing’s next gen­er­a­tion.

“There are four months to the end of the sea­son,” said Capito. “If there is a good time to leave then it’s now. This will give my suc­ces­sor the chance to start with the new car at the start of a new time in the cham­pi­onship. Ev­ery­thing is there for the team to con­tinue like we did. The ba­sis is right and there should not be a dip in per­for­mance. I saw the 2017 car with the new doors and ev­ery­thing for the first time just be­fore it went into the wind­tun­nel. When I looked at it, it was fan­tas­tic. It looks in­cred­i­ble. It’s just what we want from the reg­u­la­tion.”

Capito re­it­er­ated that the job with Mclaren was the only one which would have taken him away from Han­nover.

“I was a fan of Bruce Mclaren when I was six years old,” said Capito. “I don’t know why. He raced ev­ery­thing, he was a re­ally nice guy and he was from some­where a very long way away.

“That’s one of the rea­sons I take this job: I’ve al­ways loved Mclaren. That and the chal­lenge to get Mclaren back to the top. Can I suc­ceed? I don’t know we will see.”

Capito has helped shape the WRC and his de­ter­mi­na­tion to mar­ket Volk­swa­gen’s suc­cess in ral­ly­ing has helped re­vive the se­ries’ for­tunes.

“There are, I think, two im­por­tant things which hap­pened since Volk­swa­gen was here [in WRC],” said Capito. “The first is that we have a stable pro­moter. Whether they un­der­stand the sport or not, they are stable; there are no more dis­cus­sions about whether they will be go­ing bank­rupt to­mor­row. This brings trust from the TV broad­cast­ers and it brings more stable in­vest­ment for the fu­ture – which has helped bring Hyundai and Toy­ota, two of the world’s big­gest car man­u­fac­tur­ers, to the cham­pi­onship.

“The sec­ond thing is the suc­cess Volk­swa­gen had in mar­ket­ing. When we started out in 2013, we had 30,000 Face­book fans. Now we have well over five mil­lion, which is in the re­gion of For­mula 1 and foot­ball teams. We have shown what po­ten­tial the WRC has.”

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