Jo Gartner

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Jo Gartner
Born (1954-01-24)24 January 1954
Vienna, Austria
Died 1 June 1986(1986-06-01) (aged 32)
Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Austria Austrian
Active years 1984
Teams Osella
Races 8 [1]
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1984 San Marino Grand Prix
Last race 1984 Portuguese Grand Prix

Josef "Jo" Gartner (24 January 1954 in Vienna – 1 June 1986) was a Formula One and sports car endurance driver from Austria. After a successful lower formula career, including a win in the Formula Two Pau Grand Prix, he participated in eight Formula One Grands Prix for Osella during the 1984 season, scoring no points. He was killed in an accident at the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 1972, Gartner began working for the Kaimann Formula Super Vee team in a technical capacity. After buying, modifying and selling a Formula Vee chassis of his own, Gartner began his motor sport career in some hillclimbing events in 1976. In 1977, aged 23, he started competing more seriously, driving in the Volkswagen-supported European Formula Super Vee championship. The following season he finished third in the championship.[2]

He moved up to the European Formula Three Championship in 1979, driving a Martini with support from Renault, and switched to Formula Two in 1980 with a two-year-old March.[3] On his Formula Two debut, Gartner's car was damaged by debris from the accident that killed his countryman Markus Höttinger. He was subsequently invited to take Höttinger's place in the BMW M1 Procar Championship series, in which he raced against Formula One drivers, driving for fellow Austrian Helmut Marko.[2]

In 1981, Gartner drove a year-old Toleman TG280 at selected races and picked up a point with sixth place at the Enna-Pergusa round.[2] He finished the season with two races for the Merzario team, finishing eighth at Mantorp Park. Continuing with Merzario for 1982, Gartner picked up his only point of the season with sixth at the opening round at Silverstone, but the car was generally uncompetitive in a strong field.[2]

For 1983, Gartner decided to return to running his own car, an ex-works Spirit 201. After a fourth place at Hockenheim, he won the Pau Grand Prix when the first driver across the line, Alain Ferté, was disqualified because his car was underweight.[3] This win enabled Gartner to gain the necessary sponsorship for a move to Formula One.

Formula One[edit]

In 1984, Gartner had secured the part-time second seat with the struggling Italian Osella team, as teammate to Piercarlo Ghinzani, driving a year-old, non-turbo FA1E. He qualified on his debut at the 1984 San Marino Grand Prix, but his race ended with an engine failure.[2] At his next race, Gartner was given the new turbocharged Osella FA1F as the team decided to run a second car at all the remaining races. At the 1984 British Grand Prix, Gartner was allowed to start in 27th position because the Tyrrell Racing team was participating under appeal. However, his race ended when he was unable to avoid a first-lap accident involving Philippe Alliot and Eddie Cheever.[4] After mechanical failures in the next two races, he finished 12th at the Dutch Grand Prix, five laps down on the winner Alain Prost.

At the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Gartner qualified 24th but finished fifth, beating fellow Austrian Gerhard Berger into sixth after Ghinzani and Cheever ran out of fuel. However, Gartner was denied the two points normally awarded to the fifth-place finisher, as Osella had only entered one car at the beginning of the season.[2] Berger in sixth was similarly denied his single point, driving for ATS.

Classified 12th at the European Grand Prix although he retired with fuel injection problems, Gartner closed the season with a 16th place classification in Portugal, having run out of fuel. For 1985, he was in contention for a seat at Arrows, but lost out to Berger.[3] He also held talks with Toleman and Osella, but both seats went to drivers with more finance in place.[2]

Endurance racing[edit]

Gartner had finished fourth in the 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche 962C along with teammates David Hobbs and Guy Edwards. In 1985, after his season in Formula One, he joined the Fitzpatrick Porsche Group C endurance racing team, driving a Porsche 956, and also campaigned a Porsche 962 for Bob Akin in the IMSA GT Championship. He won the 1986 12 Hours of Sebring, along with teammates Akin and Hans-Joachim Stuck, finishing on three wheels,[3] and also won an international race at Thruxton with Tiff Needell. Gartner was aiming to join the factory Rothman's Porsche team for 1987.[2]

Whilst contesting the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans for Kremer Racing with teammates Sarel van der Merwe and Kunimitsu Takahashi, Gartner's Porsche 962 suffered a mechanical failure at 2:10 am on the Sunday morning, and turned hard left into the barriers on the Mulsanne Straight at 160 mph (260 km/h). The car somersaulted down the track, hit a telephone pole and caught fire resting on the barriers on the opposite side of the track. Gartner was killed on impact,[3] due to a broken neck.[2] Although the cause of the accident was never determined, two marshals saw Gartner brake on the straight before the car veered off into the barriers.[2] Gartner was the last fatality at the Le Mans 24 Hours under race conditions until Allan Simonsen was killed in the 2013 race.[5]

Racing record[edit]

Complete European Formula Two Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos Pts
1980 Racing Team Albatross March 782 BMW THR
HOC
13
NÜR
VAL
PAU
0
Team Jim Bean SIL
7
ZOL
HOC
Ret
Jo Gartner MUG
12
ZAN
11
PER
MIS
1981 Jo Gartner Racing Toleman TG280 BMW SIL
HOC
THR
NÜR
7
VAL
MUG
9
PAU
PER
6
SPA
Ret
DON
Ret
19th 1
Astra Team Merzario Srl March 812 MIS
DNQ
MAN
8
1982 Merzario Team Merzario 282 BMW SIL
6
HOC
Ret
THR
10
NÜR
Ret
MUG
Ret
VAL
7
PAU
Ret
SPA
15
HOC
7
DON
Ret
MAN
Ret
PER
MIS
17th 1
1983 Emco Sports Spirit 201 BMW SIL
Ret
THR
Ret
HOC
4
NÜR
Ret
VAL
Ret
PAU
1
JAR
17
DON
Ret
MIS
Ret
PER
5
ZOL
Ret
MUG
7
6th 14
1984 Emco Sports Spirit 201B BMW SIL
Ret
HOC
Ret
THR
VAL
MUG
PAU
HOC
MIS
PER
DON
BRH
0

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1984 Osella Squadra Corse Osella FA1E Alfa Romeo 1260 3.0 V12 BRA
RSA
BEL
SMR
Ret
FRA
MON
CAN
DET
DAL
NC 0
Osella FA1F Alfa Romeo 890T 1.5 V8t GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
12
ITA
5
EUR
12
POR
16

Despite finishing 5th in the Italian Grand Prix, Gartner was ineligible to score championship points, as he was driving the second Osella, and the team had only entered one car for the entire championship.

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1985 United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick Racing United Kingdom David Hobbs
United Kingdom Guy Edwards
Porsche 956B C1 366 4th 4th
1986 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing South Africa Sarel van der Merwe
Japan Kunimitsu Takahashi
Porsche 962C C1 169 DNF DNF

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jo Gartner profile at ESPN F1". Gartner's Formula One statistics. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Rainer Nyberg, Mattijs Diepraam, Eric Verkaaik: He only saw Formula 1 from behind". 8W. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Jo Gartner". grandprix.com. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "1984 British Grand Prix". grandprix.com. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Danish driver Allan Simonsen, 34, killed at Le Mans". The Guardian. 22 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013.