And it’s not the first time he’s personally fought to win his company a championship.
If you listen to celebrities talk about what they miss most after getting famous, most say they miss their anonymity. They miss being able to go to a restaurant or walk down the street without hordes of people approaching them and asking for selfies and autographs. That rule still holds over in the car world, where VIPs like Lewis Hamilton and Elon Musk have trouble living their lives like normal people.
Over in Japan, Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, has similar issues. The automaker’s leader and the grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda is also known as a car enthusiast who let his passions lead him to the world of racing. And thanks to his family money and the fact he has the full backing of one of the world’s largest automakers, 63-year-old Toyoda has turned into a pretty good race car driver.
Good enough, in fact, that he’s sneaking into the upcoming 24 Hours of Nurburgring race and driving under a fake name to preserve his anonymity, claims The Drive. And of course, he’ll be racing in a GR Supra, one of three cars Toyota has entered into the race.
As a talented track veteran who was recently caught testing Toyota’s upcoming hypercar and one of the major drivers behind Toyota’s push for less boring cars, a push that resulted in the development new 2020 Supra, it’s completely understandable that Toyoda wants to join the fun and try to win his company a championship. And it isn’t the first time he’s snuck into a race using a fake name either - back in 2014, he got behind the wheel of an LFA at the Nurburgring 24.
He was noticed trying to enter this year’s race when someone spotted a "Mr. Morizo” on the roster of Toyota’s drivers, with no first name being listed. Turns out Morizo is a pseudonym that Toyoda has used before, and after inquiring with Toyota, The Drive learned that Mr. Toyoda will indeed join this year’s race under that name.
It bodes well for Toyota’s sports car future that its president is so devoted to performance that he races the very cars he encourages his company to build.