Toyota test driver dies in crash near the ‘Ring

Some sad news and a reminder about just how dangerous motor sports can be.

Toyota’s long-time chief test driver, Hiromu Naruse, died on Wednesday in a crash near — but not on — the Nurburgring. The protoype Lexus LFA he was driving hit a BMW. Two test drivers in the German car were seriously hurt.

The info comes via Autoblog, which picked up from a German source:

He was driving the recently spied Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition (above) at the time of the accident, and reports say he veered into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with two others test drivers in a BMW. The two BMW test drivers survived the crash, though one is reportedly still in critical condition. German video of the crash scene after the accident took place can be viewed below. Police are investigating the crash and have yet to determine its cause.

Naruse was heavily involved with the development of the Lexus LFA supercar he was driving, along with many other past sports cars from Toyota’s history since he joined the company in 1963. Enthusiasts today call him the “Godfather of the LFA,” though he was involved in the development of sports cars for Toyota going as far back as the storied 2000GT from the late 1960s. The prototype of a special edition version of the LFA that he was driving when the accident occurred was reportedly worth 1.5 million euro.

Sad news, and F1B ‘s condolences go to his family and to those of the two BMW drivers.

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