Whilst contesting the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans at 2:10 am on the Sunday, Gartner's car suffered a mechanical failure and turned hard left into the barriers on the Mulsanne Straight at . The car somersaulted down the track and caught fire resting on the barriers on the opposite side of the track. Gartner was killed on impact.
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(key)<nowiki>*</nowiki> 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.