As the chequered flag fell bringing the 2019 Nürburgring 24 Hours to an end, there were emotional scenes in the Toyota Gazoo Racing pit garage for more than one reason.
The new Toyota GR Supra had successfully completed its first 24-hour race, despite challenges during the endurance event at the German circuit. Prior to the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the front-engined, rear-drive sports car had only contested four-hour events. Finishing 41st overall and third in class after an entire day of racing, a testament to the GR Supra and the hard work of the engineers, led by GR Supra Chief Mechanic, Hideyuki Tanaka.
However, Sunday 23rd June was already a day filled with poignancy for the Toyota Gazoo Racing team members, as it marked nine years to the day that Hiromu Naruse, the master driver of Toyota who co-launched the original Gazoo Racing with Akio Toyoda, passed away suddenly on the outskirts of Nürburgring.