Jost CapitoFew know performance and racing like Jost Capito. The speed-obsessed auto exec started out developing high-performance engines for BMW, then headed the motorsport department at Porsche before taking up senior management positions with the Sauber Formula One team.

He also won the Dakar rally as a co-pilot, but his most recent post has been with Ford. There he oversaw the amalgamation of the company's global performance divisions – including SVT in the States and RS in the UK – and ushered such vehicles as the SVT Raptor, Focus RS, new Fiesta ST and the Shelby GT500 into production, all the while managing Ford's effort in the World Rally Championship.

The Ford chapter in Capito's considerable career, however, is drawing to a close as Dearborn has announced his departure and Wolfsburg his arrival. Effective May 1, Capito will be heading up Volkswagen Motorsport, taking over for Kris Nissen, who managed the back-to-back-to-back victories Volkswagen took at Dakar.

In his new capacity, Capito will presumably be running the company's new WRC effort, but we wouldn't mind seeing his footprint on the next generation of GTI and R models, either. Look below for the official announcement.
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JOST CAPITO TO HEAD VOLKSWAGEN MOTORSPORT

Wolfsburg, March 29, 2012 – Jost Capito (53) is to head Volkswagen Motorsport effective May 1, 2012. He takes over from Kris Nissen (51), who will support his successor during the transition phase and subsequently assist the Group in an advisory capacity.

Jost Capito moves to the Volkswagen Group from Ford Motor Company USA. He has decades of experience in motorsport; among other things, he was involved in Formula 1 and was also co-pilot and winner in the truck category of the Paris-Dakar Rally. The engineering graduate began his career in 1984 as a development engineer for BMW's high-performance engines. Capito joined Porsche in 1989, first heading the Porsche Carrera Cup Organisation and later overseeing all Porsche brand racing championship campaigns. He held executive posts at Sauber Petronas Engineering from 1996 to 2001 and was Chief Operating Officer of the Sauber Red Bull Formula 1 team from 1998. Capito moved to Ford at the end of 2001 where he latterly held responsibility for Ford's global performance vehicle business and for motorsports strategy.

Kris Nissen (51) has been Director of Volkswagen Motorsport since 2003 and won important motorsport victories for Volkswagen during his tenure. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand with responsibility for 'Development', thanked Nissen for his achievements: "Mr. Nissen has taken Volkswagen Motorsport a long way forward and led the Motorsport team during the most successful phase in its history so far. He was instrumental in Volkswagen's double victory at the 2009 Dakar Rally and helped write motorsport history with the one-two-three podium finishes in 2010 and 2011."