Jo Gartner

Jo Gartner

24/1/1954 - 1/6/1986

Much self-sacrifice and an iron determination to succeed against seemingly overwhelming odds kept Jo Gartner in motor racing when many drivers with lesser fibre would have fallen by the wayside. From his early Formula 3 days (he was third in the 1978 European championship), Jo proved he had talent, but he was lacking finance and had to act as his own mechanic, running second-rate machinery for much of his Formula 2 career - though he did have his day, winning the Pau GP in 1983. Finding some backing, he got himself briefly into the Osella Grand Prix team in 1984, and even scored a fifth place for them at Monza but, against his expectations and much to his dismay, he was not retained for the following year. Gartner then switched to sports car and IMSA racing, which he enjoyed but saw as a means to get back into Formula 1. Unable to find money for F1 he raced a Fitzpatrick Porsche in sportscar events and finished fourth in the Le Mans 24 Hours. The following year his sportscar career took off with drives in IMSA with Bob Akin and with Kremer in the World Sportscar Championship. He shared victory with Akin and Hans Stuck in the Sebring 12 Hours but at Le Mans his Kremer Porsche veered off the Mulsanne Straight in the middle of the night and Gartner was killed. Sadly his return to Formula 1 was not to be, for he was killed instantly during the 1986 Le Mans 24 Hours when his Porsche crashed on the Mulsanne Straight in the middle of the night.

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