Helmut Krackowizer, his years as motorcycle racer
Infected by the bacillus of motorsport
Helmut Krackowizer had been eleven years old when his father took him to the last hillclimb race before the Second World War on the mountain Gaisberg near Salzburg in 1933. When he was 16 he rode a Norton "Inter". Then the War stopped all motorsport-pretetions of Helmut. As reported in the article of his first Rudge, he took the change to buy a Rudge 250 during the War and coming back he burned up to the first possibility of racing.
Motorcycle racing under the Allied occupation
In autumn 1946 he rode his first motorcycle race with his Rudge 250 cm³, in pouring rain during the first post war race in Salzburg-Nonntal. He became 3rd.
Then in spring 1947 the first dirt track race in Salzburg, organized by the just founded SAMTC (Salzburg automobile motorcycle and touring club), lured 20.000 spectators on the trotting race course in Salzburg-Aigen. Encouraged by this success the first motorcycle race finally took place on the motorway near Salzburg on 6 July 1947.
1958 this race became the "Grand Prix of Austria", which moved later on the motorway Anif-Grödig, also near Salzburg and in the end on the Salzburg-Ring.
In the motorcycle race on 6 July 1947, Helmut Krackowizer won the junior class until 250 cm³ on Rudge in 44:32,8 min., followed by the Salzburg Fritz Walcher on Imperial with a time of 46:43,4 min. and Richard Kwitt on Puch in 46:43,4 min. The race leaded over 15 laps, which corresponded to a distance of 63 kilometres (length of one lap: 4,2 km). Krackowizer was then also in the senior race three laps into the lead before he had to abandon because of a defect. This was the beginning of his motorcycle racer career lasting until 1955.
The year 1947 became one of the most successful racing years for him. Among
other races he took part in Austria in Rankweil and Lustenau (Vorarlberg), in
Innsbruck-Hungerburg hill climb race, in Graz-Lazarettsiedlung and Ries hill
climb race, Pötschenpass as well as in Liechtenstein at the Triesenberg (remark
of my father: "much gravel and few Fraenkli [Swiss franc]! Nevertheless my cosy
4th place would have been still enough for the victory, according to Swiss
The year's result of 1947: three 1st places, two class records, two 2nd places, two 4th places - the most successful racer of Austria in the class A to 250 cm³.
In this year he wanted to take part in the English TT, failed however because of missing border documents at the Swiss border. On Rudge 250 cm³ he finished as third at the road race on the motorway near Salzburg behind Radler on Puch from Vienna and the Italian Nocchi. The hillclimb race Ries near Graz brought a third place, again behind Nocchi and Rott (Vienna) on JAP, with the very small time difference of two seconds to the winner, and only 0,2 sec. to the third positioned.
Father noticed about his two Swiss races:
Erlen, Switzerland: "...Event today I see my Salzburg friend Volzwinkler, who rode the fast 350 Norton, when we both had been bottom of the league as we had not been used to the custom to raise the flagg and not to drop it... Even having passed by Fergus Anderson, who rode his new AJS "Boy Racer, my clutch made problems and I had to retire on fifth position, even as the (rain)water came out of my boots..."
Also his second start in Switzerland was not crowned by success. Again late start he passed one by one like a slalom specialist on his Velocette 350 KTT MK VIII. The in one curve he slowed down too late and crashed into wodden blanks. Nothing was broken but the needle was thrown out of its clamp and the engine did not get any petrol any more. He had to retire again.
Both "presentation" of father did not left a mark to the organizers of the races. An friendly but clear they refused fathers registration in the following year for these races in Switzerland.
Successes 1949 in Austria:
* Road race Korneuburg: second place
* Road race Dornbirn: second place in supercharger-class with his "normal" Rudge 250 cm³;
two second places in the classes 350 cm³ and 500 cm³ on Velocette 350, which he owned already since March of that year; at the international road race at Rankweil, Vorarlberg fifth place and second best Austrian behind Anderson (GB), Volzwinkler (A), Nocchi (I) and Roland (?)
1950 - 1955
With changing success he took part races in Austria, again in Switzerland, Schauinsland hillclimbrace, Ingolstadt, Norisring in Nuremberg and Hockenheimring (all in Germany). Besides them he took part in other competitions and hillclimb races in Austria.
Over the years he rode several motorcycle marks as there had been: Rudge 250 cc, Velocette KTT MK VIII 350 cc ex Binder, BSA Gold Star 350 cm³, Lohner scooter, Norton 500 cm³, AJS, Puch and others. 1955 he retired from his active motorcycle racing career.