Moto2™ Championship leader, Barcelona and Mugello winner Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is becoming a member of a very exclusive club next season. The Australian joins a select band of fathers and sons who have both raced in the premier class of Grand Prix racing when he joins the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team. However, he is only knocking on the front door of this special family club
The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider has all the correct qualifications to join but that is just the start. Can he emulate his father Wayne by winning a premier class Grand Prix leading to a World title? He would be only the third father and son to both win a premier class race. Surely, he could stand for presidency by becoming only the second father and son to win the elite class World title.
There are plenty of fathers and sons who have raced in the premier class. There are fathers and sons who have won Grand Prix races, but not both in the 500cc/MotoGP™ class. Famous names such as Graziano and Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Angel and Pablo Nieto, Les and Stuart Graham, Peter and Philipp Ottl, Stefan and Helmut Bradl and of course Wayne and Remy. Both winning in the premier class is a very different proposition and just two families have achieved such an accolade. Kenny Roberts Senior and Junior won 30 500cc Grands Prix between them. Italians Nello and Alberto Pagani won five 500cc Grands Prix with father Nello winning two in 1949 in the first year of the World Championship.
The 30 Grand Prix wins for the Roberts’ is the clue to the ultimate accolade. They are the only father and son to win the elite class World title in the 73-year history of the sport. Kenny Senior won the 500cc World title three times in 1978,79,80 on the Yamaha. Twenty years later Kenny Junior brought Suzuki the 2000 title.
There are plenty of fathers and sons who have both raced in the premier class. Some are obvious but others not so. World Superbike supremo Carl Fogarty and father George both raced in the 500cc class. Canadians Yvon and Miguel Du Hamel. Father Yvon started four 500cc Grand Prix races, but never made it to the finish. Barry Sheene’s brother-in-law Paul Smart and his Son Scott and TT heroes Tony and David Jefferies and Tony and Michael Rutter.
Others are better known including Ron and Leon Haslam, Walter and Cristiano Migilorati, George and Pierre Monneret and Australians Harry and Eric Hilton.
There is one record that is likely to remain for a long time or even forever. The German father and son Ernst and Reinhard Hiller not only raced together but also both scored points at the same Grand Prix. When many of the stars retired in the 1973 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheim Ernst finished third and Reinhard sixth.
I am sure Wayne would be up for it and tell all who was prepared to listen he would not only race but also of course win. Realistically those days have long gone but at a certain age, we are allowed to dream.