If you are an avid follower of the World Rally Championship, you might be familiar with Jost Capito, the person who led Volkswagen to bag 3 successive titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. Now the German automaker recently announced that the German motorsport manager extraordinaire has returned and will lead the company's "R" performance division.
Jost Capito, a former Formula 1 driver, is appointed as the new Managing Director of Volkswagen R that will take effect on June 1. Volkswagen R GmbH is the competence center for design and performance based products, the Germans boast. Capito will also manage the VW Zubehor' s activities- Zubehor is the German automaker's department that produces and sells vehicle accessories in different parts of the world.
He will take the place of Ulrich Richter (58), who had been the managing director of VW R since 2009. But Richter will not be departing VW as he will continue to work for the German automaker as he is also the Plant Manager at Osnabruck as Speaker of the Management Board and Managing Director, Technical of VW Osnabruck since October 2016 even though the former Karmann facility doesn't produce that much.
Capito is a notable figure in the automotive industry, he started out with BMW's high performance engine division in the 1980s and moved on to Porsche's racing division in 1989. He was also the appointed Director of VW Motorsport in 2012 and led the German automaker's team to a title in FIA's World Rally Championship. In 2016, he was chosen as CEO of McLaren Racing- a post he left shortly after now ousted McLaren team head honcho Ron Dennis' departure late last year.
Moreover, he also helped the Ford's performance division to bag 2 more first places in WRC back in 2006 and 2007. He was a mainstay at the Blue Oval company for over 10 years and supervised the development of the 1st-gen Ford Focus RS which was utilized as a base for the rally Focus in World Racing Championship. The vehicle was not made available in U.S. shores, but it was considered as the better, more upgraded version of the Ford Focus SVT that was presented in 2002 (sold as the "ST170" in Europe). He also headed the teams that produced the Fiesta ST, SVT Raptor and the Shelby GT500.
Jost Capito's appointment has great timing, as the German automaker is making more preparations in launching its first-ever performance SUV, the Tiguan A. A long career under various car automaker companies makes the 58-year-old the perfect person to lead the VW's R division. If he had been put in charge of VW's performance vehicles much earlier, we believe there would have been even more successes. The comeback of rallying was accompanied by the release of a Polo R production car.