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1954 Ultra Lightweight TT

Course name: Clypse

Course length: 114 miles (10 laps)

Description: 1954 Ultra Lightweight TT (125 Race)

Race report from the IOM Weekly Times 19 June 1954 (p. 5) below which is a full list of competitors:

Beats Ubbiali in Great Race
German-Italian Duel Thrilled Crowds
Haas Off Twice Before Retiring

Spectators round the new Clypse circuit had one long thrill today as German and Italian machines battled for supremacy in the massed start 125c.c. class of the Lightweight T.T. First Hollaus then Ubbiali led, and at the half distance there was nothing between the two. So it went on, and after a breath-taking final lap Hollaus crossed the line about 50 yards in front of the Italian to score the second German N.S.U. victory of the week. Werner Haas came off at Governor’s Bridge when leading on the first lap and dropped back to third, his N.S.U. team mate Hollaus taking over the lead, quickly followed by Ubbiali (M.V. Agusta).
At the end of three laps Hollaus still led from Ubbiali, who was only two seconds behind him, and the speed was nearly 68 m.p.h. Haas was in third place 14 seconds behind the Italian. Each time Ubbiali took the lead Hollaus used the N.S.U’s terrific acceleration to get in front again and when it was reported that Haas was losing speed, Hollaus, in front, took up the burden of warding off the Italian challenge.

The Start, Wednesday
Conditions were far from perfect. Travelling Marshal Bob Foster reported that there was no mist on the course, but that the road was wet with dry patches. The threatening weather did not deter thousands of spectators from lining the course, however. Of the 28 competitors who had entered the ten lap 125 c.c. race over the new Clypse circuit, only 18 came to the starting line. Two changes of drivers were announced, Brian Purslow took over the M.V. of his brother Fron, while Denis Lashmar took over the L.E.F. which Vic Willoughby was to have ridden. Leading the pack off towards Parkfield were the M.V. Agusta riders Cecil Sandford and Carlo Ubbiali, closely followed by R. Hollaus (N.S.U.) and Bill Lomas on the third factory M.V. Agusta. Lomas and Ubbiali were riding machines with ‘Guzzi-type’ streamlining, while Sandford was rising a model with 1953-type fairings. From the halfway mark a report came that young Rupert Hollaus had taken over the lead closely followed by team-mate Haas, with Ubbiali close behind, but at Hall’s Corner it was Haas who led, followed by his team-mate and with the M.V. Agusta rider, Ubbiali, striving hard to get on terms with the leaders who were just ahead of him. However it was Hollaus who led at the end of Lap 1. Haas came off at Governor’s Bridge but remounted quickly and was in third position, just behind Ubbiali at the end of the lap.

R. Hollaus maintained his slender lead throughout the second circuit. The commentator at Signpost reported that Ubbiali had closed up on the corner but that the N.S.U. rider had accelerated quickly away and had lost no ground. Ubbilai was grimly ‘hanging on’ but Haas was gradually closing the gap between himself and the Italian rider.
W. Lomas (M.V.) pulled into the pits with a silent motor at the end of the second lap. He complained that the engine was misfiring, changed a plug and restarted in ninth position. Hollaus averaged 66.06 m.p.h. on his first lap. By lap 2 his average had risen to 67.41 m.p.h and he headed Ubbiali by 2 seconds. Ubbiali’s average speed for the two laps was 67.3 m.p.h.

After Three Laps
The battle was intensifying. It was a repeat of Monday’s struggle with the M.V. Agustas taking up the fight for Italy. From Signpost the commentator reported that Ubbiali led Hollaus into the corner but that the N.S.U. rider passed him as they accelerated towards Bedstead. Haas was losing ground on the leaders but still led Sandford comfortably. Hopes of the N.S.U. factory winning the manufacturers’ team award were dashed when news came through that H.P. Muller had retired at the Creg-ny-Baa with engine trouble. M.V. Agustas were also out of the team race, as Lomas had retired at the pits.

Sensation! At the end of lap 5 (half distance) Ubbiali led the young N.S.U. star by a few yards. He had lapped in 9 mins 13 secs., a speed of 70.37 m.p.h. which brought his average for the race to 68.73 m.p.h.This was world champion form. Both leaders were credited with the same growing time for the five laps. They led the third man by more than two minutes. Haas had been trying too hard. For the second time in the space of five laps he had come off, this time at the Five-and-a-half corner and had been forced to retire. Agustas now lay in a strong position.
The leaders started on their sixth circuit with only yards separating them and at Hall’s Corner they came round side by side with Hollaus trying to get past. The German rider used his machine’s superior acceleration to nose in front of the Agusta at Signpost, but as they flashed past the stands Ubbiali was pulling almost level with his rival – this was really racing.

After Six Laps
Hollaus kept just ahead throughout the lap, with the little Italian ‘sitting’ in his slip stream. Only one second separated them at the end of lap 7, and their average speeds were 69.09 and 69.07 respectively. Sandford in third position, was falling further behind as Hollaus and Ubbiali battled for the lead. He was over three minutes in arrears at the end of Lap 7, and was averaging 65.97 m.p.h.Hollaus went on increasing this lead fractionally during Lap 9, and as the leading pair tore past the grandstand to commence their final circuit he led by about 20 yards.

It seemed that the N.S.U. marque was to gain the second win of the week. Reports came in from round the course that there was nothing in it, but that Hollaus was still in the lead. At Hall’s Corner he led by 20 to 30 yards, by Signpost there was still ‘nothing in it’ and both lights flashed on to signal the leaders at Governor’s Bridge simultaneously. But it was the slim, 22-year-old Rupert Hollaus on his silver N.S.U. who flashed over the finishing line, the winner by 50 yards, after his 108 miles struggle with ex-world champion Carlo Ubbiali, of the M.V. Agusta team. On his last lap Hollaus had set up yet another amazing speed for such a tiny machine. He lapped in 9 mins. 6.4 secs., a speed of 71.17 m.p.h. John Grace (Montesa) pulled into the pit to retire at the end of lap 9 after leading the two strokes throughout the race.

Ivor Lloyd went into the enclosure at the end of lap 9, thinking he had finished. He mistook Hollaus’s finishing flag for his own. He was informed of his error and re-started, finishing the final lap in a faster time than Purslow. John Grace (Gibraltar) made the same mistake. They were disqualified, however from the results, pending investigations, but later their appeals were allowed and they were given fifth and seventh places among the nine finishers.

Hold On to T.T. Course
Although after Wednesday’s races the new Clypse Course might have the support of the riders and officials alike, said the Mayor of Douglas at the Villa Marina Ballroom on Wednesday night, he hoped the A.C.U. would always keep the original T.T. circuit for their major events.
There were two schools of thought on the subject. His view was that no course in the world could replace the original T.T. circuit.
Singling out the sidecar passengers for praise, the Mayor’s remarks on the endurance of the sole woman competitor in the T.T. races, girl passenger Ingeborg Stoll-Laforge, were lost in a tremendous burst of applause from the packed ballroom.
The Mayor, who presented the trophies won in the Lightweight Sidecar International events, thanked the A.C.U. for their organisation, the manufacturers for their loyal support and the sporting private entrants on behalf of Douglas Corporation.
“We are deeply impressed with the reception you have given to our riders,” said Mr Frankenberger, technical director or the N.S.U. company. “Naturally we are happy to have had two victories in the T.T. races, but what is more important is the feeling that we are among friends.”
R. Hollaus, the German N.S.U. rider and winner of the Lightweight 125 c.c. race, received the Bob Holloway trophy for the fastest lap in addition to the T.T. trophy. Eric Oliver, sidecar winner, was also awarded the Walter Handley Trophy for the fastest lap in the sidecar race. In answer to cries of “speech” Eric said simply, “I hope you enjoyed watching the race as much as I enjoyed riding in it.”


1Hollaus, Rupert1:33:07.4069.52NSU
2Ubbiali, Carlo1:33:03.4069.57MV
3Sandford, Cecil1:37:35.8066.35MV
4Baltisberger, Hans1:38:25.0065.78NSU
5Lloyd, Ivor1:43:16.6062.68MV
6Purslow, Brian1:46:24.6060.84MV
7Grace, John1:49:29.0059.13Montesa
8Webster, Bill1:54:22.0056.61MV
9Thomson, James2:00:05.0053.91MV
RLashmar, DennisLEF
RCope, FrankMV
RHaas, WernerNSU
RMuller, Hermann PaulNSU
RBurman, FrankPuch
RFruin, BertPuch
RHarfield, LenPuch
RMarrion, JohnPuch
RLomas, BillMV


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