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VW director Jost Capito to become CEO of McLaren Racing

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Volkswagen director of motorsport Jost Capito has been named as the new CEO of McLaren Racing following the promotion of Jonathan Neale.

Capito has headed up Volkswagen’s motorsport interests since 2012, leading the German marque to three straight FIA World Rally Championship titles.

However, the 57-year-old will now return to Formula 1 with McLaren following a management reshuffle at Woking.

Neale has been promoted from CEO to the Chief Operating Officer of McLaren Racing, freeing up the position for Capito, who worked for Sauber between 1996 and 2001.

Eric Boullier remains the team’s racing director, and will work in tandem with Capito, while Ron Dennis still oversees all of McLaren’s interests as group CEO and executive chairman.

As per the team’s statement: “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.”

Dennis revealed that he approached Capito regarding a role at McLaren last summer, and is pleased to have secured his services for the 2016 season.

“I first approached Jost last summer,” Capito said. “He is an extremely impressive, competitive and ambitious individual, who comes to us with a very wide range of automotive and motorsport experience.

“From a motorsport perspective he has experience in not only the World Rally Championship but also sportscars, 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 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.”

Neale also welcomed Capito to the team, and is relishing the opportunity to take on an increased role within the McLaren setup.

“After 15 years in senior roles within McLaren Racing, most recently as COO and acting CEO, I am excited to be moving up to take on a wider remit, working directly with Ron to assist his leadership of McLaren Technology Group,” Neale said.

“I have enjoyed my time at McLaren Racing, and will of course remain closely involved in supporting Jost’s and Eric’s efforts to optimise the future success of the McLaren-Honda programme.

“But I am equally conscious of my new areas of responsibility and influence within McLaren Technology Group, and  I am particularly keen to bring to bear my wider industry expertise and experience to drive forward our strategy to grow each of our Group businesses.”

Volkswagen issued its own statement shortly after McLaren thanking Capito for his work over the past four years.

“We would like to thank Jost Capito for his exceptionally dedicated and successful work for Volkswagen in motorsport,” board member Frank Welsch said.

“The three World Rally Championship titles with the Polo R WRC represent the greatest sporting achievements in the history of the Volkswagen brand and underscore the technical competence of our company.

“With his transparent and far-sighted leadership, Jost Capito has been instrumental in this success.”

Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.