One of the key figures behind Volkswagen's dominant return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) has been appointed managing director of the German manufacturer's ever-popular 'R' performance arm.
Volkswagen has announced that, effective June 1, Jost Capito will head up Volkswagen R GmbH, despite leaving his post as Volkswagen’s director of motorsport in August 2016 to take up the position of CEO of McLaren Racing just one month later.
In his role at McLaren Racing until January 2017, 58-year-old Capito takes over from 58-year-old Ulrich Riestenpatt gt. Richter, who had been Volkswagen R GmbH MD since 2009 – prior to the sub-brand’s official 2010 launch.
In charge of Volkswagen’s R division – Volkswagen’s “competence centre for design and performance oriented products of the Volkswagen brand” – Capito will also sit as MD of Volkswagen’s Zubehor GmbH, focussed on developing and marketing vehicle accessories worldwide.
Volkswagen’s director of motorsport from May 2012 to August 2016, Capito was also team principal of Volkswagen Motorsport for the marque’s triumphant 2013 WRC return, and consecutive 2013, 2014, and 2015 WRC world titles.
Before moving to Volkswagen, Capito was a long-time employee at Ford, holding the position of director of global performance vehicles and motorsport business development, where he played a key part in models such as the first- and second-generation Ford Focus RS.
With motor racing well-and-truly flowing through his veins, Capito’s resume also includes being chief operating officer of the Sauber Red Bull Formula 1 team from 1998 to 2001, head of motorsport organisation at Porsche from 1989 to 1996, and even a powertrain development engineer at BMW’s M division in the mid-to-late 1980s.
In Australia, the Volkswagen R range comprises the Golf R and Scirocco R, with various R-Line variants of additional models also available.