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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.”

‘One and Only’ Kyle Larson wins Outlaws opener at Knoxville Raceway

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Paul Arch/World of Outlaws
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The magic of dirt racing wins for Kyle Larson continued Thursday night at Knoxville Raceway, where he scored his third consecutive World of Outlaws victory at the famed half-mile track to open “The One and Only.”

After starting 10th, Larson sliced through the field and passed pole-sitter Logan Schuchart to lead the final eight laps in the No. 57 of car owner Paul Silva.

“Just an awesome race,” Larson said after earning $10,000 for his second consecutive NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory (after winning at Pevely, Missouri, last Saturday), his sixth Outlaws victory this season and 14th of his career.

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“I was able to track Logan down and hit the bottom really well in (turns) 1 and 2 and got a run on him.  It felt like I needed to take advantage of that before we got to heavier traffic and slid him and felt some contact. So, glad to see him not in the wall or anything like that. Just, hard work there. Heartbeat is up again.”

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Kyle Larson scored his sixth World of Outlaws victory Thursday (Trent Gower/World of Outlaws).

It was the fourth Knoxville victory this year for Larson, who swept a World of Outlaws doubleheader weekend June 12-13 at the Sprint Car Captial of the World. He has more than 30 victories this year in sprint cars and midgets.

The One and Only continues Friday night with another $10,000 feature race that will set the starting lineup for Saturday’s Brownells Capitani Classic, which pays $50,000 to win.

The event is the Outlaws’ richest purse of 2020 and subs in for the annual Knoxville Nationals, which was canceled for COVID-19 concerns. Larson, a two-time Knoxville Nationals runner-up, has said winning The One and Only would be on the same as Knoxville’s signature event because of its tough three-day format.

Through the first of three nights, Schuchart and Larson are tied for second in The One and Only points standings, which factor in qualifying, heats, dash and feature races. Aaron Reutzel, an All Star Circuit of Champions stalwart who finished third Thursday, leads with 430 points.

A crash in Thursday’s 25-lap feature eliminated past Outlaws champions Brad Sweet and Donny Schatz after Cory Eliason spun in front of Sweet in Turn 1 to start the wreck, which also collected Sweet’s teammate, James McFadden. Sweet and Schatz finished outside the top 20, which moved Schuchart into the points lead for the 2020 season.

Schuchart still seemed slightly miffed after finishing second to Larson.

“As the race went on, I felt like I wasn’t hitting my marks as good,” he said. “I would have liked to of had a little bit better of a race with Kyle there. I wish his slide job was a little better there, but he’s got a reputation to live up to. That’s where you let other people make the rules and maybe we’ll get him next time.”


RESULTS

NOS Energy Drink Feature (25 Laps) – 1. 57-Kyle Larson [10]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [1]; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel [2]; 4. 2-Carson Macedo [24]; 5. 41-David Gravel [6]; 6. 21-Brian Brown [7]; 7. 71-Spencer Bayston [3]; 8. 18-Gio Scelzi [15]; 9. 12N-Joey Saldana [5]; 10. 5-Ian Madsen [19]; 11. 17A-Austin McCarl [21]; 12. 1A-Jacob Allen [11]; 13. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [16]; 14. 7S-Jason Sides [20]; 15. 24-Rico Abreu [22]; 16. 4-Terry McCarl [13]; 17. 2KS-Brooke Tatnell [18]; 18. O9-Matt Juhl [23]; 19. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [25]; 20. 83-Daryn Pittman [9]; 21. 11K-Kraig Kinser [17]; 22. 15-Donny Schatz [8]; 23. 26-Cory Eliason [4]; 24. 49-Brad Sweet [12]; 25. 9-James McFadden [14]; Lap Leaders: Logan Schuchart 1-17, Kyle Larson 18-25; KSE Hard Charger Award: 2-Carson Macedo[+20]

Kyle Larson wins Knoxville
Kyle Larson celebrated with his family and team after the first night of The One and Only (Trent Gower/World of Outlaws).