The 23-year-old world champion died in training for the Monza GP
Much too short a career
The Austrian from Traisen was the first post-war hero of the Alpine republic and a true shooting star of the motorcycle world championship in the early 1950s. The year before that, the team boss of the NSU works Team noticed him, whereupon he received a contract as a works driver for 1954. The highly talented and for the time at the age of 22 still very young professional, had become national champion the year before and has already achieved astonishing results in several international races. Especially in difficult conditions, such as on a wet track, Rupert Hollaus quickly drove all opponents away. The entire world elite had to experience this when he competed in the World Championships on the NSU “Rennfox” with 125 cm³ and the “Rennmax” with 250 cm³.
One of the biggest talents worldwide
The natural talent from Lower Austria even won the Ultra Lightweight category, up to 125 cm³, on June 14, 1954, in the new Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. In addition, he took second place in the lightweight category up to 250 cm³. On July 25, Rupert secured the world championship title in this class prematurely by winning up to 125 cm³ at the Solitude near Stuttgart. With his victory up to 250 cm³ in Bremgarten near Bern in Switzerland, he also secured the title of runner-up behind his NSU team-mate Werner Haas in the next higher category. In the larger classes (up to 350 and 500 cm³) NSU did not enter the factory, at least in the World Championship.
A black day for racing
Italian 125 cm³ GP 1954 in Monza. Rupert Hollaus (September 4, 1931 in Traisen – September 11, 1954) takes part as the first and so far only Austrian to win a world championship in road racing. The season was dominated by him in the 125cc class when he won the first four Grand Prix. At the 5th run in Monza during training for the Italian Grand Prix, Rupert found his death in the Lesmo curve. Hollaus became the first posthumous world champion in the 125cc class in 1954 and held the record as the youngest champion in the same category until Loris Capirossi’s world title in 1990.
His first really bad crash was tragically his last
His helmet was only slightly scratched. Almost everyone else would have survived this, but not Rupert Hollaus, who suffered a hitherto unknown anatomical anomaly. His skull was unusually thin, which could have broken his skull from a headbutt while playing football.