On November 14th 2017, the association came to learn of the sudden and saddening news that one of our most enthusiastic, passionate and talented racers and car builders had lost his life in a car accident.
Jon Grainger of Norwich, UK, first took part in DiSCA competition in the Pendle Slot Racing hosted Group C series of 2013. Joining the Racing for Holland Le Mans Toyota team for the 24 hours the following year, he would return in 2015 with the Aston Martin DBR-9. Both stints with the Dutch-led teams allowed Jon to form friendships with Fola Osu of Slotfabrik and Alexander Grijpma from the Dutch 1/24 scene, and by the second Eindhoven event in October that year, Grainger debuted his Stryker Racing WEC team.
For the 15/16 season the team would scratch-build and race the Nissan Nismo GTR-LM, winning the Concours d’Elegance at Le Mans first time out. Jon’s car building and dedication was both evident and widely acclaimed by the other teams and drivers, and within the Stryker Racing camp was a unique team spirit that Jon was especially proud of.
For 2017 another LM P1 car was built from scratch. The Audi R18 (2016) was entered in both the Suzuka 6 hours at Eindhoven where it placed second, and the Le Mans 24 hours in Henley-In-Arden where it would go on to win both the concours d’Elegance and race overall. After a race-long battle with the Rockingham Toyota TS-030, it was Grainger’s squad that took the finish with the greatest distance to huge relief.
For 2018 Jon and the Stryker Racing team were planning to build the Porsche 919 Hybrid (2017) for the WEC season. A re-organised squad that will carry the Stryker Racing name will revert to the Audi R18 for the Suzuka 6 hours and prepare a Porsche 919 for Le Mans, assisted by Slotfabrik.
While it will be sad to think of events without Jon, the way he has touched the hobby and those who enjoy it will not be forgotten easily. It must be with positive memories of a young man who had everything to give to slot car racing, that we reflect upon.