Toyota Gazoo Racing will enter three automobiles into this weekend’s 2019 ADAC 24-hour Nürburgring enduro, and for probably the most half, they will be piloted by top-shelf skilled drivers; Tremendous GT’s Takeshi Tsuchiya and Naoya Gamou, VLN Endurance driver Uwe Kleen, and different drivers of comparable caliber. However among the many staff’s checklist of wheelmen is a nondescript “Mr. Morizo,” whose first identify is not even listed. Moriz-who?
Do not be fooled—it is really an alias for none apart from Toyota’s 63-year-old president Akio Toyoda. Toyota confirmed to The Drive that the manager will drive Toyota Gazoo Racing’s quantity 90 GR Supra within the famed endurance problem regardless of not being listed on the ADAC’s entry checklist for this weekend’s race.
Why Morizo selected the Supra is apparent; he was one of many driving forces behind the mannequin’s revival, and has reminisced about driving countless laps of the Nürburgring in his third-generation A70 Supra. In order stunt-y because it may appear, this 63-year-old and his Supra could also be a power to be reckoned with when the inexperienced flag drops in Nürburg. It is not the primary time he is run largely incognito on the Nurburgring 24, having beforehand pushed a Lexus LFA within the 2014 race.
Toyoda’s fondness for driving is rooted in each his household legacy—he is the grandson of Toyota Motors founder Kiichiro Toyoda—and his childhood goals of turning into a taxi driver, based on Automotive Information, and it was he who declared an finish to boring automobiles at Toyota after taking on as president in 2009.
Clearly, working one of many world’s largest automakers affords Toyoda the chance to drive any of Toyota’s increasing lineup of sports activities automobiles on a whim, however that does not imply he looks like waltzing into the paddock as Toyota’s president. He’d relatively be handled as an equal within the firm of fellow racers, and makes use of his “Morizo” pseudonym to mix in as a lot as attainable.
“There’s a sense of closeness. They really feel that they’ll speak about something and strategy me,” Toyoda instructed AN. “However once they view me as president, they preserve a distance.”