Sunday 24th January 1954
Born on this day, Jo Gartner, Formula One and sports car endurance driver from Austria. Winning the 1983 Pau Formula 2 Grand Prix was quite an achievement, considering the elderly machinery he was forced to use throughout his career. But the Austrian fought his way into Formula 1 gathering the funds to race a second Osella as of the 1984 San Marino Grand Prix. Again had to do miracles with the machinery on hand and took the flag at the Italian GP Monza in an excellent 5th place, but didnít score any points because the Italian outfit had only entered one car in the World Championship at the beginning of the season. Out of funding and without an offer for a free seat, Jo at least got a decent deal from Porsche team owner John Fitzpatrick for the Sports Car World Championship and the following year for the Kremer brothers and also raced in the US for Bob Akinís IMSA team. Always convinced he would make it back to F1 at one point, his Kremer Porsche team was among the favorites for a win at the 1986 24 hours of Le Mans. During Joís night stint the Porsche 962 got airborne at the high speed Mulsanne Straight and shattered to pieces in the tress. Jo Gartner was declared dead at the scene.