Capito would consider WRC leadership role if asked

Former Volkswagen Motorsport director has not had full-time role since leaving Williams F1 team

Rally Mexico 2016

He was the man who proposed some of the biggest changes in the sport’s history. He’s the man who ruled over the most successful period ever for a World Rally Championship manufacturer. Is the time right for Jost Capito to return to the sport? Is the time right for Jost Capito to run the sport?

The former director of Volkswagen Motorsport admits he would be interested in the potential for helping to make a change. He feels he still has plenty to offer the sport and the championship.

Present at last week’s Rally Poland because it coincided with his motorbike tour through Europe, Capito told DirtFish: “I think I would have a lot to give, but it’s not that… There has to be an interest. It’s not me knocking at doors. I’m quite happy with where I am right now.

“Nobody has talked to me about it and I would say I’m not missing it – but on the other hand, I got so much out of motorsport and racing in my life, I would be always OK to give something back if I can do something good for a sport.

Sébastien Ogier - Lifestyle

Capito (left) enjoyed fruitful four years with Sébastien Ogier at Volkswagen

“If people believe it’s worthwhile, I would never say never. But they know if somebody asks me, my ideas are sometimes radical… But if you don’t have radical ideas, you don’t get changes done.”

Through his time as both head of Ford’s rallying involvement and during that extraordinary period at Volkswagen when the German manufacturer dominated every championship title for four years, Capito recognized the WRC’s weaknesses.

He proposed a radical change to bring more purpose to the final day of world rallies and, when he couldn’t find agreement with the promoter in an ongoing debate, he instructed his drivers not to talk to camera crews at the end of stages.

Asked for his thoughts on the controversial, new-for-2024 rules surrounding the new points and scoring structure in the WRC, Capito added: “At least there’s something happening. The technical regulation changed quite a lot [since 2016] and quite dramatically as well. But on the sporting side, it was time [for change].

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Capito was an interested spectator on Rally Poland, where Ott Tänak won the new-for-2024 'Super Sunday'

“I don’t know if it’s now going in the right direction. For a general public, it’s very complicated to understand, but it does get rid of everybody cruising on a Sunday. Spectators who come for the weekend, have Sunday as their day off and came to watch the drivers fighting only to see them cruising, that was a problem of the sport and it had to change.

“Now we have a new direction and I don’t say my proposal was right or this proposal is right – but change has helped the sport.”

While he describes himself as retired, Capito remains engaged in both business and motorsport, working as a consultant in the US-based Nitrocross series.

Words:David Evans