Five questions for Jost Capito

The Volkswagen Motorsport Director

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By Olivier Ferret

8 December 2012 - 20:42
Five questions for Jost Capito

A sporting director with a technical background: Jost
Capito took over the reins as Volkswagen Motorsport Director in May 2012 – the next step
in a career that has taken him to BMW Motorsport, Porsche, the Sauber Formula 1 Team,
Ford, and ultimately the World Rally Championship. A graduate in engineering, Capito
brings both his skills as a team leader and a wealth of experience in technical development
to the table. Anyone wondering whether he has the necessary amount of petrol in his
blood need only take a glance at his sporting career: as well as a successful career in
Enduro racing, the 54-year-old also won the Truck class at the legendary Dakar Rally in
1985.

The opening event of the World Championship season, and with it the competitive
debut of the Polo R WRC, is just one month away. Is Volkswagen ready?

Capito: “Volkswagen has been fortunate enough to be able to prepare for the World Rally
Championship on two fronts. On the one hand we spent a good year and a half developing
and optimising the Polo R WRC before putting it through extensive tests. On the other
hand, the team has been able to gain experience at virtually every World Championship
rally with the Fabia S2000 courtesy of our group brand Škoda. This has allowed the team
to literally learn from scratch. Eleven class victories from twelve rallies speak for
themselves.”

What level of performance has the Polo R WRC achieved at this point?

Capito: “The Polo R WRC is yet to complete a single competitive kilometre. It will not go
head to head against its rivals until the Rally Monte Carlo. As such, it is impossible to
accurately judge where we are compared to our rivals, who are undoubtedly both strong
and experienced. We are very excited to see how the Polo performs – as, I expect, is
everyone on the rally scene. I can, however, assure you that we have done everything in
our power to ensure that we are competitive from the word go. Our approach has not
changed at all: 2013 will be a learning year with the Polo R WRC.”

What exactly are Volkswagen’s goals in the World Rally Championship?

Capito: “In principal, you cannot plan sporting success. However, you can only achieve
goals if you first identify them. They are as such: in 2013 we want to achieve top-three
finishes under our own steam. Our objective for 2014 is to win races, and to challenge for
the World Championship title is our goal for 2015. You can count on one thing from
Volkswagen over the next few years: we will put our heart and soul into achieving these
goals.”

What do you expect from the World Rally Championship in the 2013 season?

Capito: “We expect an exciting contest with Citroën, Ford and Mini. That is precisely what
the World Rally Championship is all about: it offers spectators a great package and thrilling
motorsport. The World Rally Championship has already proven to be immensely popular
and the atmosphere out on the route is electrifying. We must do a better job of meeting this
demand in the media. Everyone involved is already working hard to gradually increase the
marketing side and media presence of the series.”

Volkswagen had some talented and very promising team members on board in 2012,
who were able to have a trial run at World Rally Championship events with cars from
its fellow affiliate Škoda. How do you proceed from here in that regard?

Capito: “From 2013 we will exclusively be running the Polo R WRC. Our plan is to provide
a Polo R WRC for Andreas Mikkelsen as of the fourth round of the 2013 World Rally
Championship. We will also continue to maintain good relations with Škoda and will, to the
best of our ability, support them in preparing our Volkswagen juniors Sepp Wiegand and
Kevin Abbring for the future.”

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