If you don’t pay, you don’t have a say

  • Stefan Walker

    Wow just wow is all that I. Can say.

  • Marko S.

    Never liked the guy, he always seemed more of a banker than a rally team boss. Not that I had any doubts, that was the main reason VW joined, to take over, the lead, the championship, the VVRC.
    Dear Mr. Capito, you only invest so you could take more out, and never forget that you depend on publicity and fan base, with actions and ideas you have presented up today you’re losing it. Ignorant prick….

  • Anne

    I always thought that the promoter and the teams were there to keep us fans entertained, to make people interested in the sport, and in the long run also to lure us to buy those cars that we have grown to admire around rally circles. Hmmm… Silly me! Judging by Mr. Capito´s comments, the Investers are there to satisfy the needs of … Investers only!

    It is a funny way of thinking. In my opinion, I and my many rally friends do invest a lot in this sport when we spend hours of our valuable time every month following the sport in all available media, and travel around Europe to spectate rally at location when ever it is possible. Flights, hotels etc. are not cheap and I do consider it as my investment to the sport. And what about the drivers? Many of them pay huge amounts of their own and sponsors´ money to get behind the wheel, and everyone of them risk their lives while entertaining us over there. (And if there are a few drivers getting good money out of the sport… Good for them!) How can anyone in his sound mind say that we all should shut up and watch on the side when the Big Boys are trying to destroy the sport that we love?

    No way. Maybe they do not listen to us but at least we can try. I just wonder where they will find the huge new crowds to follow the crippled new shoot-out rallying when we old true fans vote with our feet and find something more interesting to do. When 30 seconds lead shrinks into 3 seconds at the start of the Power Stage, there is no sense in competing for 3 days or following the “competion”, for that matter. It is really scary to think that Mr.Capito and his cabinet might get their way in the end. Hope not!

    • Very well said. It’s easy to understand Jost’s motives and the idea he is working on, but to do what he did, excluding all but teams from discussion, let alone decision making, is beyond what I thought necessary. Maybe his statements were a bit rash and in the moment, but he said it and he obviously meant it. I do hope it does not escalate to “we’ve spent €100 million to dominate WRC, we want some of it back so this is what the championship should look like” next.

  • Moses

    Jost Capito is absolutely right.

    Money talks. Unlike Msport, VW drivers, the media, Todt and company (FIA) all get paid.
    Capito/VW is willing to gamble that huge investment on the bigger picture by making the WRC a better marketing machine just like Bernie did with F1. VW have performed much much better that Citroen who relied solely on one driver’s success for 9 years.

    If Jost Capito loses, he loses his job and most of all his reputation just like David Williams did. If he wins, he does what we have all been moaning about for over 15 years, he introduces rallying to a new and much larger market.
    .
    Give the man a break, let him have his shot.

    • Anne

      Personally I have nothing against Mr. Capito and I think he has been brilliant in his job at VW. If his new ideas would be rejected, I see no reason why he should leave the sport.

      However, I am strongly against these new shoot-out plans. OK, I admit that I am an old-school rally fan but no matter how much I read about the details, I totally fail to see the sport raising to a new (upper) level after they had destroyed its DNA. Where is the new market coming from? And why doesn’t the promoter use the whole potential of rallying today? WRC+ is so good, but there is still at lot to do (better) in terms of live tv, tv coverage as a whole etc. Like Mikko said, there is so much happening out there on the stages that stays there beyond our reach…

      Thank you for the opportunity to say my opinion. I wish the drivers had the right do the same :)

      • Have to agree with Anne on this. No doubt Jost is doing stupendous job leading the team – even with all the money VW brought to WRC, without solid leadership they would not be as dominant as they are today. But as Anne said, the ideas he (Jost) presented regarding the future of the WRC just don’t meet my expectations and desires. Admittedly, I might be off the mark and maybe I don’t see the bigger picture – perhaps new ideas are what’s needed for WRC to survive, but at the moment I just don’t think that’s the case.

        Thank you both for commenting.

  • Moses

    Lets do the math.

    1000(s) spectators are present at each wrc event,
    10,000(s) enthusiasts watch each event on tv,
    100,000(s) regularly follow each event using social media,
    1,000,000(s) occasionally catch a glimpse of wrc in person, on tv, in the newspaper, on the web etc,
    1,000,000,000(s) are aware of the existence of automobile sport in one form or another

    How does one tap into a potential market with a 10 figure audience?
    Add even more adrenaline to the sport by creating super special stages, encourage more following by introducing super rally, handicap quick drivers on the first day to spice up the following days, create global appeal by diversifying locations, interest couch potatoes by using power stages.

    My point is that it has all been successfully done, except for one thing: TIME.

    For a global perspective, for a global car manufacturer, for global advertising and marketing, rallies are too long. The architects of successful global sport know this. For example one day cricket, F1 practice and qualifying, WWE, FIFA world cup. All these sports are designed around hype which leads to a grand finale with each episode never lasting more than an hour. These sports address the needs of diehard fans, occasional enthusiasts and most importantly, newbies.

    Jost Capito’s idea is not a novelty, he has simply stolen a hugely successful one.

    • By making event’s final stage(s) more exciting, WRC could definitely attract more spectators and gain more ground on the global motorsport scene, but this stage alone may not be enough to meet those goals. People will still need to be introduced to rallying before they can fully enjoy not just this one stage but the whole 3-day package. By focusing everything on one stage, WRC could end up with bigger audience, but not necessarily more fans – those people could just randomly or intentionally tune in to this stage without fully understanding the bigger plot, the three day grueling drama of conquering whatever road and weather conditions are out there. Your points are on the mark, and so are Jost’s, I am merely afraid that we’re dancing too close to the edge of destroying the essence of rallying. Some sports just cannot be zipped into 1 hour, easy to digest format, at least in my opinion. That doesn’t mean that WRC should not be adapted and changed in some way, as long as it remains what it always was – exciting display of team work and driving skills set against the nature’s best (or worst). On the other hand, I find it strange that there weren’t more ideas regarding future of the WRC – we’re constantly being told that Jost’s is/was the only one.

  • flat-over-crest

    Rallying existed ages before mr.Capito,or VW,or Red Bull(shit) or all those Johhny-come-latelies.If they will exist after they impose their stupid and laughable ‘ideas’,that’s another story altogether.
    I only wish they disappear before they destroy what’s left of the sport.

  • Anne

    I think I finally got the logics behind the idea. Thank you, Moses, for taking the time to explain. However, I find two weak links there: tv coverage and the endurance factor of rally.

    General public and “newbies” never see rally on tv. Rally has been hidden in pay-tv and you have to be a really big fan to be willing to pay those fees. (I am a diehard fan and even I do not see rally on tv!) F1 is famous simply because in the past it was on free tv for years and years for everybody to watch and learn. Otherwise not that many people would even know that “F1” stands for some kind of a circuit racing…

    So, Mr. Capito & co want to have a Grande Finale on tv where you can see close fight, and the winner of the tv stage is the winner of the rally. Fine. It sounds good but you forget that rally is all about endurance: driving some 300-350 km special stages in all kinds of conditions, getting right tyre choice, and keeping the car on the road at all times. If the target is to win a 5 km last stage on the final day, it leaves us with some 300 km of …qualifying stages! It sounds totally absurd to me. I am sure that after one year we would end up having a 5 km shakedown on Friday, a 5 km qualifying test on Saturday and a 5 km final test on Sunday. Instead of rallying, this would create a totally new kind of motorsport: mickey-mousing.

  • Moses

    Flat-over-crest, you say Capito’s ideas are “stupid and laughable” with your only justification being that “rallying existed before…”. That type of justification is the reason for 9 time world champions and 14 time middle east champions. The proposed new format makes it more interesting for more manufacturers. It also creates an opportunity for the small guy for example a national privateer team can take a shot at the mighty VWRC machine. Dont forget that it was Capito who proposed a car development freeze. Yes he knew his engineer FX was way ahead of the game after only a year of development versus Loriaux and Citroen’s years of tinkering with their cars, but if Capito didnt offer a freeze, the championship would become boring ….again.
    Dont understimate change.
    Anne you are spot on regarding paytv but this mostly a European problem. Has anyone watched Subaru America’s story on launchcontrol.tv? Its very entertaining, interesting and insightful. Most importantly, its on the web. WRC Promoter’s WRCplus is playing catch up with, but atleast they have woken up. Their solution is not free but its much cheaper than paytv and most importantly, its much more accessible than tv.
    Unfortunately, the cost we pay for this change is the death or evolution of the endurance factor. Its the same cost that the Dakar, the Tour de France, the Le Mans and the Olympics have paid.

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