Text: Anton Andres / Photos: McLaren, Volkswagen | posted January 15, 2016 12:17
McLaren hires the man behind Volkswagen's rally success
McLaren had a turbulent season back in 2015 but the team is making steps for a comeback by hiring a new CEO for its racing program. Replacing Johnathan Neale is Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito as Neale has just been appointed as COO of McLaren Technology Group.
"The timing of these moves will be actioned in 2016 in agreement with Jost's current employer, and a further announcement will follow in due course," said McLaren in a statement.
Jost Capito led Volkswagen's World Rally Championship efforts from 2012 to 2015, garnering successive driver and manufacturer championships along the way.
Capito's resume also stretches back as far as 30 years, with one Dakar win as a co-driver and an engineer for BMW in the late 80's. Capito has also worked for Porsche, Sauber and Ford, where he was responsible for the RS comeback of the early 2000's and was responsible for the first and second generation Focus RS.
"From a motorsport perspective he has experience in not only the World Rally Championship but also sports cars, touring cars, motorcycle racing and Formula 1, about which he is hugely knowledgeable and infectiously passionate. I am therefore delighted to welcome Jost to McLaren, and I am certain that he will work extremely well with Eric (Boullier, racing director of McLaren Formula One) and all at McLaren Racing, building on the very good work they have already done to take the McLaren-Honda programme forward towards grand prix victories and world championship successes." said Ron Dennis, chairman and founder of McLaren Technology Group.
McLaren's driver line up for 2016 will remain unchanged with Jenson Button, now in his 17th year in the sport, and Fernando Alonso. Alonso has said he will be staying with the team despite initial reports of the Spaniard taking a two year sabbatical from the sport.