Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rupert Hollaus-- Austria's Motorcycle Champion

I started posting videos of old racing movies a few weeks back and have enjoyed researching the back story on some of them. I hope you all have enjoyed the last one because the story behind it is both heroic and tragic. Rupert Hollaus was born in Traisen, Austria amidst a vibrant road racing community. Known for his modest physical presence and demeanor, Hollaus impressed NSU team managers with his natural motorcycling talent and started his second Grand Prix year in 1954  aboard a 125cc NSU Rennfox and a 250cc Rennmax.  The NSU team was strong and included the double World Champion Werner Haas but no one could have predicted Hollaus' freshman success at NSU.

Hollaus quickly dominated the 125cc class by winning the first four Grand Prix races, namely the IOM, Ulster, Dutch, and German.

At the Italian Grand Prix, Hollaus appeared to be putting together another win. He quickly posted a new record lap speed of 149.9 km/h during the final practice at the Monza track when tragedy struck. His team mates Muller and Haas witness Hollaus crashing in the perilous Lesmo curves. Despite immediate assistance, Rupert Hollaus passes away tragically becoming the first posthumous Grand Prix motorcycle champion and Austria's only motorcycle road racing champion.

4 September 1931-11 September 1954

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