Toyota boss to take wheel at Nurburgring

The motor-sport loving president of Japanese auto giant Toyota, will get behind the wheel in the Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race in Germany later this month, a company spokesman said Wednesday.

Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the group's founder, will be one of a team of four driving a Toyota car at the Nurburgring Circuit in the village of Nurburg, south of Cologne, on May 19 and 20, the spokesman said.

It will be his first participation in the world-class race since becoming the company's top man in June 2009. He previously took part in the endurance race in 2007 and 2009 when he was vice president.

"It's not merely a private activity," the spokesman said. "This is part of the company's effort to produce good cars by judging the performance of our production under such severe conditions."

In 2009, his team driving the Lexus LF-A supercar crossed the finish line in 87th in a field of some 170 cars at the circuit known for the 300-metre (990-foot) change in elevation, Kyodo News said.

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