Radical final-stage plan WRC's only hope says F1-bound Jost Capito

Departing Volkswagen Motorsport director Jost Capito says his radical final-stage revamp plan is still the World Rally Championship's only hope of rivalling Formula 1's popularity

Radical final-stage plan WRC's only hope says F1-bound Jost Capito

Capito was the architect of the scheme to divide the time gaps by 10 going into the last stage of WRC rallies, which nearly made it into the regulations before being rejected by the World Motor Sport Council at the behest of FIA president Jean Todt in September 2014.

ARCHIVE: FIA's revamp rejection splits WRC

Had it come into effect, Jari-Matti Latvala's one-minute lead going into the final day of the latest WRC round in Mexico would have been reduced to just six seconds.

"I am still convinced dividing the final day gaps by 10 is still the best decision," Capito told Autosport.

"I strongly believe this is the thing to put WRC on the level of Formula 1 in the public eye.

"If we did this plan, people would get interested because of this really exciting hour of rallying on Sunday and then they would become real rally fans interested in Friday and Saturday as well.

"They would become pure fans and the whole thing would move forward with more interest from sponsors, manufacturers, everybody.

"There's nothing wrong with this idea, it's not like reverse grids or anything like that. This is not a revolution.

"If Seb [Ogier] is running first on Friday and Saturday, he would still have the chance to win on Sunday because the gap is never that big that he can't get it done on Sunday.

"This would be more sporting - what they have done to the running order [making the championship leader run first on the road for two days] is more unsporting than this idea."

WRC manager Jarmo Mahonen was originally convinced by the scheme but is more sceptical now.

"For me, this is a little bit too far away from the sport," he said.

"We have to keep the fundamental elements of rallying. This is my personal point of view.

"If you are driving in the forests and doing your best for three days, then you decide everything on the last stage... I'm not sure.

"I understand everything from the potential exposure point of view, but aren't we walking away from the DNA of rallying?

"We are going to have five manufacturers in the WRC and I'd be very careful about deciding something that goes so far from the DNA."

Capito is expected to depart his VW role to take up his new position at the McLaren F1 team shortly, the two organisations having agreed he would stay on in Germany until his successor was chosen.

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