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Toyoda takes second in car race

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda took the steering wheel in the Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race through Monday in western Germany, with his team finishing second in its class, the automaker said.

Toyoda teamed with three professional drivers to race a Lexus LF-A in the 10-car SP8 class in the village of Nurburg, 80 km south of Cologne. They finished 37th overall in a field of 175 cars.

“In a race, a trivial flaw tends to bring about a serious consequence, unless your machine is a really good car,” Toyoda said in a message broadcast online. “This experience helped fine-tune my sensibilities necessary to develop good cars.”

He suggested he would apply the lessons learned from the race to the development of automobiles down the road.

Toyota also entered two 86 sports cars, but the president, whose penchant for competitive racing distinguishes him from most of his counterparts, did not drive them.

He previously took part in the race in 2007 and 2009 when he was vice president.

The Nurburgring Circuit is renowned for the 300-meter change in elevation from its lowest to highest points.