Auto Teacher Allegedly Rented a Toyota Supra For a Land Speed Race, Causes $4k in Damages
An automotive teacher from Naperville North High School is in some hot water after he allegedly rented a Toyota Supra and used it in a speed competition with his students without telling the owner.
What was supposed to be a fun and positive experience for the all-female automotive club had gone off-track when the race truck they were working on for an upcoming speed competition in Beeville, TX, had suddenly become inoperable. The truck was built to potentially break a land speed record at the event, but mechanical issues posed a huge roadblock for the team.
Why Was The Toyota Supra Rented For a Land Speed Race?
According to Fox 32 Chicago, their teacher, Gregory Ditch, decided to rectify the situation and continue to take part in the competition by using a 2021 Toyota Supra GR 3.0 that he rented from its owner Giovanni Morales via the Turo app. The app allows car owners to rent their vehicles out to anyone, and both Morales and Turo confirmed that Ditch opted to rent the Supra for three days.
This is where things take a turn for the worst. According to Morales, Ditch never informed him that he would be using the Supra in a racing event, but he did have some suspicions. However, Ditch denies this and says that Morales was informed about the car’s intended use. But based on videos and photos posted by the students on social media, the car is seen being used in the competition, reaching speeds of 160 mph.
When Renting a Car Goes Way Off-Course
By the time Ditch returned the car, Morales noticed that the tires were worn down from lots of abuse, and the braking system needed to be replaced, totaling the damages to the car by approximately $4,000. When he confronted Ditch about the car’s condition, the teacher denied ever using it in the racing competition.
“First he told me that it wasn’t the car,” says Morales. “It was a completely different car. And I told him, I said, ‘So you happened to come across a car that looks just like mine, same color, same color wheels that are not stock,’ I mean, come on.” Even the car’s license plate is clearly visible in some of the photos and videos at the event.
Ditch allegedly informed Morales that he would be renting the Toyota Supra just to drive around, with no mention of any racing. According to the terms and conditions of the Turo app, renting a vehicle with the intention of racing is strictly prohibited. The students taking part in the racing event were not directly involved in the decision to rent the Toyota Supra and were not made aware that they were violating the terms of the app.
But according to Ditch, he did not rent the vehicle from Morales from the Turo app. “I borrowed the vehicle from um… we ended up with the vehicle from… it didn’t come from Toyota. So I started to make some phone calls and got it from a dealer,” Ditch told Fox 32 Chicago. “I don’t know who he is or what the full story is with him.”
Since this incident, a third-party investigation by Naperville North High School confirmed that Ditch and his students violated the terms of renting a vehicle from Morales on the Turo app. The school has since released a statement regarding the matter and is still under investigation.
It is unknown whether Ditch will face any disciplinary action following his decisions involving the school’s racing team and Morales’s personal property.