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Jo Gartner: January 24th 1954 - June 1st 1986


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#1 Twin Window

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 11:40

Jo Gartner died eighteen years ago this morning, during the 1986 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Jo was a wonderful guy and I, like all his many friends, still miss him enormously. A party was held outside Vienna on January 24th to celebrate his life on what would have been his 50th birthday.

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Gone, but not forgotten.

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:up:

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#2 x_acto

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 11:48

Nice tribute, Twin Window!

Sadlly missed by all the motorsport fans.

RIP

#3 SEdward

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 12:01

The tombstone says "Engineer" Jo Gartner? What was his background?

Edward

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 13:32

TW...what is in the glass case on the grave???

DCN

#5 Twin Window

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 14:24

Hi Doug

It's a light which is permanently illuminated. Laid around it is one of the lanyards which had been produced for the party the night before.

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Here's a shot which will bring back great memories for those who spent time with Jo at F2 races...

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...and this is Jo at his office of his garage in Vienna.

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The mischievous expression I miss so much...

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TW

#6 Megatron

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 14:28

Much like I felt de Angellis's passing might have had something to do with the turbo going away, I think it was Jo's passing that led to the eventual chicanes on the Muslane.

Quite a talented driver. His record for the fastest Sebring ever still stands.

#7 Twin Window

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 00:47

As the anniversary of his death draws to a close, here's another of my favourite photos of Seppi...

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God bless you, my friend.

You will forever be the 'Austrian right-hander' and I the 'English left-hander'.

TW

#8 angst

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 07:01

I always looked out for Jo's results in F2. Another of those privateers who had bags of talent, but obviously not the right connections. Did wonders with the Toleman in '81 and I thought it was a clever move to get the Spirit cars and fit them with BMW engines. I remember there was a rumour about him moving to Arrows (was it '85 or '86?), I willed him to get a half decent drive and show what I believed he could do. Terrible month, de Angelis and then Gartner.

#9 Twin Window

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 07:08

The move to Arrows was for '85, and Berger beat him to it. Didn't go down too well, that...

Did you know that he looked very closely at looking at using a marine engine in the Spirits for '83? The engineering side to him coming to the fore...

TW

#10 ghinzani

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 07:39

Originally posted by Twin Window
The move to Arrows was for '85, and Berger beat him to hit. Didn't go down too well, that...

Did you know that he looked very closely at looking at using a marine engine in the Spirits for '83? The engineering side to him coming to the fore...

TW


A BMW motorsport decision I take it? He was'nt under the care of Dr Marko like Berger I take it? What about the Milde Sorte link - how come they did'nt continue with Osella? I thought that finish at Monza was magnificent, hopefully it counts in the record books?

Such a shame He and his erstwhile F2 team-mate Pieere Chauvet are no longer around. Did his girlfriend (Doris?) go to the re-union?

#11 Twin Window

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 08:04

Ghinzani

The influence of BMW undoubtedly played a part with Arrows, but I seem to remember that Jo was effectively 'gazzumped' having had what he considered to be a firm agreement. He was a Marko driver at one point, when he drove the Marlboro BMW M1 in the 1980 Procar series, but by the mid-eighties he wasn't closely connected.

As far as Monza '84 is concerned, it's a grey area as I don't think Jo was eligable for points due to not doing the whole season.

His former fiancee Doris organised the party, along with her husband Heribert and Jo's sister. Talking about it the next day, we all agreed that the strange thing was that we were all waiting for Jo and Fritz to walk through the door... Fritz was a great guy too, and it's just so hard to believe that neither of them are with us any more.

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This was dinner the day after, with Doris and Heribert on the right, and Bert Baldwin and Carole on the left.

TW

#12 ghinzani

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 08:09

Bert Baldwin - tyres? I know the name but cant remember why!

So Marko/Berger and their Atomic Ski etc sponsorship got the deal? Who was Jo's sponsor, he couldnt have taken MS to a Barclay sponsored team. Werent MS an Italian brand that used to appear on F2 Osellas as well? Or are Milde Sorte and MS two different things?

Great stuff again TW :clap:

#13 ghinzani

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 08:09

Originally posted by ghinzani
Bert Baldwin - tyres? I know the name but cant remember why!


Former ATS team manager!

#14 Twin Window

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 08:23

Milde Sorte and MS are two different brands, and to be honest I can't remember who Jo was taking to Arrows. It may have been Emco...

I think you're right about Bert spending a short time with ATS, but he's probably better known for his time with Goodyear and then Yokohama, which is how he met Jo. He showed us his watch, a Rolex, given to him by JYS after his 1971 Champonship win with a suitable engraving on the back. Some time (a year or two, I think) later JYS asked Bert if the watch was ok and Bert told him that actually it had stopped. Jackie took Bert's watch and gave him his own diamond-encrusted version, saying that when his repaired one arrived to swap the watches and send him his one back in the same packaging!

TW

#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 10:40

It is Bert who features in the famous David Phipps photograph of Dan Gurney tyre-testing at Goodwood in the Eagle, with Bert sitting astride the engine cover, facing backwards to study deformation of his Goodyear tyres in action... Onboard telemetry is for fairies....

DCN

#16 Paul Newby

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 14:04

A lovely tribute Twin Windows.

My recollection of Gartner is that he made it to F1 the hard way and did amazing things in that Osella. It should've led to greater things. I also recall that he died on my 21st birthday. :(

Twin Windows, you must introduce yourself in the "Introduction Thread." You were obviously "a player" back in the 80s with a vast collection of stories of some of the lesser well known stars. Keep them coming as I much rather learn something new about Gartner or Salazar than read the same old stuff on Senna and Prost!

#17 ghinzani

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 15:10

TW where do you think Jo would have gone with his career, if its not too painful a question to ask? He had a good ride with Bobby Akin IIRC, do you reckon he would have become their Indycar driver a couple of years later when they switched from IMSA or was the relationship not that deep with that Team? Would he have ended up in German Touring Cars? I read he was desperate to get back into single seaters, even going as far as considering the unloved T950 Lola F3000 car in 85 at Zeltweg.

#18 Twin Window

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 17:52

Originally posted by Doug Nye

It is Bert who features in the famous David Phipps photograph of Dan Gurney tyre-testing at Goodwood in the Eagle, with Bert sitting astride the engine cover, facing backwards to study deformation of his Goodyear tyres in action... Onboard telemetry is for fairies....

DCN

Doug,

Yes I think that was indeed Bert! :eek:

Maybe you'll recognise him better from these...

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Originally posted by Paul Newby
A lovely tribute Twin Windows.

Paul,

Thank you.


Originally posted by ghinzani
TW where do you think Jo would have gone with his career...? I read he was desperate to get back into single seaters...

Ghinzani,

Jo regarded Group C & IMSA purely as a means to an end in order, as you say, to get back into F1. He was told the weekend he died that he had a factory Rothmans Porsche seat for 1987. He may even have signed that weekend; I can't remember. There are a few things about that weekend that are vague, due to the brain closing doors I suspect...

As for further than that, who knows! Being the determined chap he was, I'd like to think that he would have achieved his goal, but alas we'll never know.

TW

#19 ensign14

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 19:27

Originally posted by Twin Window
As far as Monza '84 is concerned, it's a grey area as I don't think Jo was eligable for points due to not doing the whole season.

He wasn't, but he was credited with 5th.

Memory may be playing tricks but I seem to remember he coasted over the line, out of fuel. He actually dropped a clanger by finishing; had he stopped before crossing the line, he would have been classified 7th, and Peter Charles (who had retired on that lap whilst running 4th) would have been classified 6th to gain a genuine extra point for Osella!

I was always annoyed that the points for 5th and 6th didn't drop to the cars in 7th and 8th, as logically Gartner and Berger were outside the championship...Ghinzani and Rothengatter in the points for Osella and Spirit? Deep joy.

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#20 Twin Window

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 21:21

That result at Monza was massive news in Austria - the only time three of their countymen had finished in the top six of a GP. Actually, parts of the race and the follow-up highlights programme (with Seppi and Gerhard studio guests) were shown at the party in January.

TW

#21 SEdward

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 20:45

Jo and Hans Heyer during the drivers' parade before the fateful race.

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Edward.

#22 deangelis86

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 21:53

That really is a lovely photo of Jo Gartner.

It's obvious he was indeed a very special Racing Driver, and this whole thread has been quite a moving experience to read.

RIP, Jo. :(

#23 Twin Window

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 22:05

It is a nice shot of Jo, deangelis86, but I must admit that I still struggle with photos taken of him from Le Mans that year. In fact the entire build up to the race still troubles me...

TW

#24 ghinzani

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 07:01

I re-read the Autosport report of his GP debut in the slow old non turbo Osella at Imola in 84. Seems like he was so intent on getting himself in the field during qualifying that he held up and chopped a large number of drivers. Good on him I say - getting an FA1E into the race was a miracle. Anyway after a chat (from whom it doesnt stay, stewards or his peers) his behaviour in the race was exemplerary.

One thing I have never been able to tie up is that he was obviously very much in contention for the Arrows in 85 , yet in his obit it states he was heartbroken to see his sponsors on the Osella at the begining of 85. Was he pursueing a dual strategy with the Osella as his backup plan or did he concentrate on the Arrows drive to the detriment of his Osella negotiations and Enzo swiped his sponsors?

Ifs and buts I know, but if Bergers broken neck had kept him out of the Arrows in 85, would it have been Jo in Benetton in 86? We all know where that led. *sigh* :(

#25 SEdward

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 15:28

TW,

Was there anything unusual about the build-up to Le Mans that year, or are you troubled in view of what happened in the race.

I was there that year, and just about every year since...

Edward.

#26 deangelis86

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 15:56

Originally posted by Twin Window
It is a nice shot of Jo, deangelis86, but I must admit that I still struggle with photos taken of him from Le Mans that year. In fact the entire build up to the race still troubles me...

TW


Fate plays a huge, and sometimes very disturbing role in tragedy.

Take Elio for example. Moving to Brabham had re-invigorated his desire, and having previously loathed tesing he got stuck into it with aplomb with his new team. Not having had a good qualifying or race at Monte-Carlo meant that he enthusiastically volunteered to do the test at Paul Ricard instead of Riccardo Patrese.... :(

#27 Twin Window

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 23:21

Edward

I started to reply to your question, but I couldn't finish it off. Sorry, but maybe I'll answer properly in a few days...


deangelis86

Yes, fate is a strange thing...


TW

#28 JohnH

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 23:45

Here's an interesting look at Jo:

http://f1rejects.com.../biography.html


John

#29 Pedro 917

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 21:08

Hi Twinny, I thought you'd like to see these pictures. My friend Luc De Cock drove a Lola Super VW in 1977 and 1978 and so we got to know Jo too. I knew I had some pictures but when I found them, the colors were gone. Now I found the negatives and although they're rather small (size of a thumbnail), I could scan them with a fair result. I can recall Jo driving a red Kaimann in 1977 and like my friend, he switched to a Lola for the 1978 season (the first season they used the watercooled engine). It was a time that drivers were real friends and it was just like a whole big family. We were very close to the Luyendyk family as Arie's father Jaap took care of my friend's engine when running in Formula Vee in 1976. Those were happy times and boy, did we have some fun then!
The pictures were taken in the summer of 1978 at Zolder, European Championship for F. Super VW.
Jo was third and was on the podium with Luyendyk (winner) and Henzler:

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#30 Ruairidh

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 01:15

Originally posted by Twin Window
As the anniversary of his death draws to a close, here's another of my favourite photos of Seppi...

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God bless you, my friend.

You will forever be the 'Austrian right-hander' and I the 'English left-hander'.

TW


What a great picture - and a very moving tribute. Stuart, thanks (as ever) for this.

#31 Pedro 917

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Posted 20 August 2004 - 19:59

I spoke my friend today about this thread and he said he has fond memories of Jo too. In fact they crossed the channel together on their way to Snetterton for a test session in the new Lola. Jo bought the car and my friend bought Luyendyk's Lola (who switched to F.3) after he'd crashed his old one at Pflanzgarten (Nürburgring Nordschleife) and escaped luckily. I can remember Jo came over for a visit sometimes to discuss the handling of the car as they were the only drivers racing this chassis ( I believe it was the T620).

#32 Twin Window

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Posted 21 August 2004 - 00:33

It's wonderful that, between us, we're keeping Jo alive in our memories.

And Ruairidh; this is what makes that shot of Jo even more precious to me...

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...because we were (as usual) taking the p!ss out of each other!

Twinny :)

#33 deangelis86

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 23:21

Speaking of Jo Gartner...

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...ssPageName=WDVW

Surely worth a punt? :smoking:

#34 Twin Window

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 04:50

Thanks for drawing that to my attention, deAngelis.

Judging by the number of images and the content, I suspect that it's a copy of the disk compiled by Doris and Jo's sister for the 50th birthday celebration held in January (as mentioned earlier, IIRC). I was so taken with all the photos that they kindly gave me a copy on the night, and I believe that other copies were to be made for the folk who helped fund the celebration - so I guess this is one of those. Nice to see that it was appreciated...

But, just in case I'm wrong, I may well bid anyway.

Twinny :wave:

#35 Twin Window

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:58

Jo would have celebrated his 51st birthday yesterday...

#36 René de Boer

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 09:18

Actually, I was reading a brief story about Jo Gartner yesterday evening in the 40th anniversary edition of the splendid Austrian motoring monthly "Auto Revue", without realising that it would have been his 51st birthday.

Always having had a sweet spot for Austrian racing drivers - maybe, it's that thing about coming from a small country adjacent to Germany... - Jo Gartner was one of the drivers I followed when I was a child. Unfortunately, I didn't get to know him, but I have read many, many stories about him, revealing what a character he really was.

I am in Schladming for the world cup ski race tonight. I will light a candle and say a prayer for him in church today.

Rest in peace, Jo! Gone, but not forgotten!

#37 Twin Window

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 23:48

Not before time, Motor Sport have committed to a piece on Jo in a forthcoming issue. :clap:

And - as if that wasn't enough positive news - they've hired my pal Adam Cooper to do the story (well, in fairness, it was Adam's idea in the first place!) and who better to write such a feature? His similar work in MS which focused on Carlos Pace, Francois Cevert and others - plus his great book on Piers Courage, of course - were brilliant, and couldn't qualify him higher in my opinion.

I've just spent some time on the phone with him and, having also sent him a link to this thread, I'm hoping that 'Snake' will explore TNF further as a result. Who knows; maybe he'll even sign up as a result... :wave:

René - what a lovely thought. Thank you.

#38 ian senior

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 11:17

For those who haven't seen it yet, the promised (and very pleasing) article about Jo is in this month's Motor Sport. Some bloke called Dent is quoted in the text.

#39 ghinzani

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 11:29

Originally posted by ian senior
Some bloke called Dent is quoted in the text.


Arthur?


I'l pop out and get it during my tea-break, Jo always fascinated me - especially his one man (and woman) band in F2. Proved if you have the talent and determination you could still make F1.

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#40 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 11:56

I was at LeMans that day. It was one of the few times I fell out of love with motor racing - i just wanted to go home.

#41 ghinzani

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 18:38

Good article in Motor Sport, Cooper is an excellent writer. Nice to hear Doris's view on things too, if somewhat poignant. The late Bob Wollek got that 87 drive didnt he? Gartners talent would have shone thru doubtless. Imagine him and Stuck at Copse fighting Thackwell in that Sauber that went so well in 87...

Twinny I recall stories about Jo's F2 team having a battered old converted coach as a transporter, dont suppose you have any pics? I like to think of Jo's low-budget but happy team up against the big teams with their budgets and big artics. Reminds me of the 87 ETCC race at Donington - there was a team from Sweden (I think) who were running an old 240 Volvo - initially looking at their old Volvo team bus I assumed they were new age travellers who had lost their way. They were actually the happiest team in the paddock, despite the fact they were down amongst the class C Corollas. I like think Jo and Pierre Chauvets team were a similarly impecunous but happy little band. Although perhaps with a little more success. :up:

#42 Twin Window

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 18:32

Ah yes, the Racing Team Albatross bus! I've got this shot, which is on this thread earlier...

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...Jo getting stuck into the sponsor's product...

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...and the view from the rear!

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Yes, I thought the piece was great too - but it's a shame Snake didn't get the space he wanted. Also a pity that they didn't use a photo of him laughing, as he did that a lot...

#43 ghinzani

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 19:02

Superb Twinny - the classic old school bus pressed into service! Real gypies, I bet they had some great times in there, then again having slept in unheated converted coaches at places like Thruxton in february they do have their downsides!
Jim Beam too - they have always been good to the Austrians have'nt they! Walter Lechners son ran FF at the same time we did and used to park next to us, needless to say they had plenty of Jim Beam (cases of the stuff!) and were very quick to pass it out to the needy.

ps the bloke in the bottom shot with the red jacket reminds me of someone - Ravaglia? Pierre Dieudonne??

#44 Twin Window

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 02:33

I enjoyed a pleasant couple of bevvies earlier [last] evening in the company of fellow TNFer (and fellow villager, as it turns out) monoposto.

We chewed the cud regarding all manner of motorsport-related topics, as you do, and Jo was among them. I rarely talk about my dear friend, and perhaps I should do more often - as recently as just after the Stoneleigh show our design chap Steve Small mentioned to me that he'd found a file of photos of Jo whilst perusing stands at the event, but he hadn't mentioned them to me as he wasn't sure if I'd have appreciated seeing them (in a nice way, you understand). So clearly I give out some dodgy signals, as I really would have liked to have viewed those photos...

A thousand thoughts have been running through my mind since Peter and I chatted about Seppi, and I've revisited this thread as a result; originally with the intention of recounting a tale or two.

But now I'm here, it's a struggle...

At least his memory is still with us.

:up:

#45 LEC31

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 04:41

Thanks so much for the insights and thoughts on Jo, Twin Window.
I'm new here and maybe out of place but I'd like to pass on this story below.

Back in 1989 my friend and I had a chance to speak with Hans Stuck at a IMSA race weekend. He was driving for the Group 44 Audi GTO team that year.
After much enjoyable conversation my friend wanted to see if Hans would sign a picture of himself in a IMSA promotional booklet my friend had for a few years.
Hans was more than happy to do so, but as he was signing this his mood changed from his normal full of life fire to a sudden somberness that took my friend and I very much aback.
On the page opposite was a picture of Jo who had driven a Akin Racing 962 in IMSA for four races in 1986.
Hans spoke of "his great friend" in a real heartfelt way I have rarely had the opportunity to have with any person in my life time outside of family. We all had tears and I know at least two of us will never forget that moment, it was indelible.
Hans went on to win the GTO race the next day, I have always felt he must have been thinking about Jo as his victory yodel was supercharged, even by Stuck standards, on that podium.
I can still feel that emotion.

#46 ghinzani

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 21:29

Originally posted by Twin Window
...

A thousand thoughts have been running through my mind since Peter and I chatted about Seppi, and I've revisited this thread as a result; originally with the intention of recounting a tale or two.

But now I'm here, it's a struggle...

At least his memory is still with us.

:up:


Twinny, when you feel able theres a ready audience here in spades. Talking about a great RACER like Jo helps keep the memory alive for sure. If I ever have kids he will be one of the ones I tell them about with a sense of awe and fondness, one of the select breed who lived and died to race, like Bellof, Senna, Villeneuve snr, Moore, Depailler etc, and probably the one who went furthest on the least money but the most determination. :up:

And who IS that guy in the red jacket??

#47 René de Boer

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 22:11

Originally posted by ghinzani


Twinny, when you feel able theres a ready audience here in spades.


Oh yes, for sure! Would love to learn more about him.

Always having had a sweet spot for Austrian drivers (what is that between Dutch and Austrians, something like small countries with that big neighbour?), I was a strong supporter of Jo, one of my childhood heroes. The news of him being killed at Le Mans was a terrible moment to me.

Same for Roland Ratzenberger, BTW. I know that two young motor sport fans from Austria are working on a book about his life and career. Something like that would probably be a fitting tribute for Jo, too.

#48 ghinzani

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 18:57

Twinny, statsf1.com has Jo non starting at the 83 Austrian GP for ATS - I'd never heard that one before, is it true?

1 1983 Austria 10 ATS D6 BMW L 4 t Goodyear 0 f Not present

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#49 Paolo

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 08:52

I admired what Gartner was able to do at Osella very much.
It was really sorry news when he died.

#50 Twin Window

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 09:32

Originally posted by ghinzani

Twinny, statsf1.com has Jo non starting at the 83 Austrian GP for ATS - I'd never heard that one before, is it true?

After he won at Pau, he found some money and spoke to Schmid about the possibility of a second ATS for Austria. I'm not sure if it was a Superlicense problem or lack of sufficient funds which scuppered the deal, but whichever it didn't work out.

So I doubt he was ever entered officially as such...