A SLOT - RACING LEGEND PASSED AWAY

 
January 26, 2009 - Today, at noon, Martin Gramann (A) will be buried in Vienna. He passed away one week-end earlier and will terribly missed by all of us. Martin was the ultimate
example of pure courage. Seriously handicapped after a racing accident he could even n longer use his fingers but was one of the best all-time wing car racers, the first European who
 succeeded to beat all American pros at the 1995 USRA Nats. He also won the 1994 Wing Car Worlds, the 1989 and 1994 European G7 Wing Car Championship, and he won nearly all
 G27 wing car races he entered. From 1981 thru 1999 Martin Gramann was a professional wing car racer, having created a splendid wing car racing centre in Vienna. There he installed
 in 1990 the most professional Blue King track on the European continent.
He also commercialised several Blue King tracks which were shipped to the Arabian Emirates and Saudi-
Arabia. In 1998, with pain in his hart, he had to close the Vienna Slot-Racing Centre as a couple of members refused to help him paying the rent of the building. The splendid Vienna
 Blue King was then sold to the SRC Zlin of Jiri Micek jr. There the track was in use until early 2008 when the Czechs, at their turn, could no longer pay the rent of their location.
The track was sold to a new club in Vienna where it was completely reconstructed. Together with Bernd Möbus (D), Hans-Peter Sutter (CH) and Vlado Okali (SVK), Gramann was one of
 the leaders of all wing car racing in Europe. Möbus won three times the European G7 European Championship and stepped out in 1988 to start the distribution of R/C cars of Kyosho in
 Germany. When Hans-Peter Sutter passed away Gramann and Okali were the two remaining leaders of wing car racing in Europe. In 1999 Gramann decided to stop active slot-racing
but was seen at several occasions as spectator at international races. Although his handicap made that he was nearly unable to drive model cars, he and Bernd Möbus finished in 1985
 second at the old-timer Worlds in the Antwerp Crest Hotel. In 1994 he still entered the IMCA Model Car Worlds with Nascar cars at Darmstadt, but he became ill during the race and had
 to retire. Since 1989 Martin Gramann was one of the advocates to create a World Slot-Racing Association under the wings of the FIA. By the end of 2008 he still insisted that I should use
 all my influence to create such WSRA. The ten last year I was regularly in contact with Martin giving me advices to follow the Finnish example in financing of slot-car racing. His main
 purpose was that without official recognition it should be impossible to enjoy subvention from the local governments as is done in Finland, where the Finnish slot-racing association is
 member of the Finnish Automobile Club. Martin Gramann was not only one of the best wing car racers ever, he had a very sound vision on the social function of slot-racing in our
 postmodern society. He considered that slot-racing offered youngsters excellent possibilities to quit the no future idea, so typical for postmodernity. In his glorious period, from 1990
 thru 1998 he created a real school for wing car racers in Vienna. One of his best disciples was Gerd Fransen, a Belgian youngster living in Vienna. Helped by Martin he finished as
 runner-up of the European G27 wing car championship in 1993. Martin Gramann was the man of all challenges. Everybody knows that flying R/C helicopters is one of the most difficult
 hobby sports. After his withdrawal from slot-racing Martin started driving R/C helicopters despite the fact that he could not use his fingers. He was admired by all spectators by what he
 achieved with helicopters. Martin Gramann will be remembered as one of the most fantastic characters in the history of slot-racing. He was extremely enjoyable,  showing always an
 excellent mood. Such wing car racers as Alf Zoder, Edi Bartowski, Peter Zanoni, Werner Pauli, B.E. Dombrowski, Waler Mullner, Dieter Lahodny, Karl Schmiedl, Rudi Skkanek, there all
 influenced by Martin. Unfortunately none of them had his unique racing capacities. After Martin's withdrawal the famous  Austrian school of wing car racing disappeared completely. Oliver Sonnbichler is the last Austrian keeping the image of the great Marin Gramann alive.

 

PICTURE: imca-slotracing.com

1987 Toulouse: Martin Gramann waiting the start of the Toulouse Wing Car Worlds, organised by
IMCA. Martin drove a Koford G7 car , but was eliminated at the Quarter Finals after 137 laps.

PICTURE: imca-slotracing.com

1986, European Championship G27 in Vienna, wxon by Martin Gramann. From 1984 thru 1987 Martin
won year after year the European G27 championship. Members of his Austrian School all finished
among the top-12: Pauli was 4th, Zoder 5th, Skrkanek 7th, Zanoni 10th and Mullner 12th.

Photocredit, Copyright by imca-slotracing