Win three races in one TT. Unthinkable, but in 1964 Jim Redman does the unthinkable. The now 91-year-old former driver looks back on it with a big smile in a conversation with RTV Drenthe. “I achieved my best results ever in Assen. the 1964 TT was a very good day at the office.”
The six-time world champion in 1964 is, as expected, the fastest in the 350cc. He wins the race with a one minute and forty second lead. Mike Hailwood reigns supreme in the 500cc. Little excitement and that is why the 250cc is actually the main program that year.
“Everyone knew beforehand that it was going to be between me and Phil Read. Read had told the press that he had the cornering speed and I had the top speed. But that was bullshit† I could barely follow him on the straights. The organization had asked the police to measure speed. Read’s Yamaha ran 15 kilometers per hour faster on the straight. But I had the race of my life and had to try and beat him.”
At top speed, Redman advances to the final lap. “I was still behind Read and thinking about where to pass him. As he was going from one side of the track to the other, I passed him. But on the next straight he passed me again.”
Redman enjoys thinking about those moments. “Three right-hand corners came up, where I tried again. But it almost goes wrong, I almost make a highsider. Fortunately I was able to stay on it, but Read passed again.”
“I thought: ‘Phil, you stupid bugger’. At the next corner where he brakes, I pass him. We pull up and I kick that gear back, the Honda revs really high. My rear tire dances and bounces on the asphalt. I was out of control, but Read couldn’t pass me. At the next bend I did exactly the same. I stayed ahead.”
With only the knee bend, Read makes another frantic attempt to defeat Redman. “I saw a wheel coming and I knew I had to take action. I speed up the engine, 18,000. There were only two options. Either I blow up my bike, or I win the race.”
The men make it a battle until the last meter. In the end Redman crosses the finish line in first place with only a tenth lead.
Immediately after the finish, the men brake and go to their pit box. “My crew asked if I had won. Of course! Phil Read stood a little further and warned me. ‘I shouldn’t be so bloody sure’.But Redman is sure of himself and the winner’s smile must be huge, as he winks at his competitor: Phil, you lost and you know it.
(Text continues below photo†