Continued...It had been a very busy season but it was not over yet. 20,000 spectators turned up at the Brands Hatch Evening News International held on the 2.65 mile Grand Prix circuit, the last chance that year to see the world champions in action, and all in the same race. Agostini, Read, Ivy, Hailwood were joined by Croxford, Barrett, Carruthers, Gouki, Smart, Showy, Tait, Chandler, Pickerell, Mahoney, Simmonds, Avery, Butcher and Robb - so many great names not forgetting the sidecar boys Vincent, Boddice, Harris, Vinicombe, Hanks, Schauzu, Wakefield and Brown. Certainly exciting racing was promised.The 350cc race starting the action saw Maestro Mike, despite a broken finger on his throttle hand, take revenge over Agostini. On the 297cc Honda six, Hailwood led the 10 lap race from start to finish taking the £50 prize money as well as breaking his own lap record. The Italian World Champion Ago in second place collected £35, but behind, a fearsome struggle took place between Kel Carruthers - Aermacchi Metisse, Alan Barnet - Kirby Metisse and Dave Croxford on our prototype lightweight Seeley. It was wheel to wheel until the last lap when Carruthers gained the advantage to snatch third place from Barnett with Croxford fifth and £15 for all that effort, ahead of Tony Rutter, Norton, sixth.The 125cc event renewed the struggle between Luton-based Phil Read and Maidstone's Bill Ivy, both on works Yamahas. Neither gave an inch and both broke the lap record by nearly 5mph, whilst fighting off the challenge of Stuart Graham on the Suzuki. Graham led Phil Read for the first 3 laps leaving 'Little' Bill recovering from a poor start and an engine cut out at the hairpin. On the fourth lap 'Speedy' Read went into the lead, but the Maidstone Marvel dug deep, caught and passed Stuart Graham and took the lead from Read on lap 8 to record his last ever victory on the Yamaha, and exciting race with Phil Read second, Stuart Graham third and Dave Simmonds, Kawasaki, fourth. Prix money, first £30, second, £25, third £20, fourth, £15.The final of the 10 lap Redex Trophy for machines over 350cc but not exceeding 500cc had 40 competitors on the line. Agostini was there on the MV, but Hailwood didn't have a suitable machine. Seeley racing was represented by our regulars Ron Chandler, Dace Croxford and a new face, and competing in his first race on a single cylinder machine for two years riding John Cooper's Seeley G50 was the Maidstone Marvel Bill Ivy.
The Brands Hatch 'scratchers' led by Croxford, Chandler and Barnett held Agostini at bay for a couple of laps before he picked them off one by one for his first win at Brands that year. The World Champ was just too good. The trio behind scrapped furiously, with nothing in it until the last lap, when Chandler, perhaps trying too hard, crashed his Seeley at Clearways leaving Croxford chasing Barnett to the flag and third place. Bill Ivy, riding a steady race brought the 'Mooneyes' Seeley home in an admirable fourth place. Our 1968 British 500 champion, the Ruislip Rebel Croxford added more points to the Redex Trophy Championship he was leading. The 20 lap Evening News Race of the South for machines up to 1000cc allowed 'Mike the Bike' to play a tune on his favourite motorcycle, the 297cc Honda six. The exhaust note was as incredible as his performance. The 38 competitors on the start line had a wide variety of racing motorcycles, Norton, Yamaha, Suzuki, BSA, Aermacchi, Seeley, Triumph, Harley Davidson, Egli-Vincent, Mottard, MV Agusta and Honda. At the start the machines are all pulled back on compression. The front row of Agostini, Ivy, Read and Hailwood looked intense as they waited for the flag to drop. Zoom! they are away in seconds. In the early laps a blanket would cover the champions, their antics having the huge crowd yelling with pleasure, the four best racers in the world at the time. Then the master Hailwood took the lead equalling Derek Minter's long standing 1963 lap record of 90.34mph on the Gilera 500cc four. A lap later he broke the record by 0.6 of a second or half a mile per hour, earning him a £100 bonus. Agostini had no answer to Hailwood's charge but pushed Read back into third place. Ivy had retired the 250 Yamaha with plug trouble when in fourth, allowing Ray Pickerell, 745 Dunstall, in after his battle with Tony Smith. Having his best ride to date at Brands on his 650cc BSA, despite a misfire in the closing stages, Tony took fifth spot. Alan Barnett on the Kirby 500 Metisse secured sixth place after Croxford, riding the Reg-Curley 650 Domiracer, chopped back with a loose fairing. Percy Tait on the 750 Triumph earlier holding seventh, dropped backwith a flat battery into sixteenth place.Veteran sidecar racer and still top of his profession Pip Harris, BMW, won the 500cc sidecar event from Tony Wakefield, BMW, with TT winner German ace Siegfried Schauzu, BMW, third, and Dick Hawes on his Seeley G50 outfit coming home in fifth, a good result.In the last solo race of the day, the Ivy-Read duel was on again with swords drawn. The 250cc race was fought wheel to wheel on works Yamahas for 8 of the 10 laps. Then, with a record lap, 'Speedy' Read squirted ahead to win by a few yards. A disappointed Ivy who I am sure wanted to win the 125 and 250cc events in front of his home crowd, announced his retirement from motorcycle racing. He said he was just too sensitive to put up with all the bickering and back-biting existing in the atmosphere of worl championship racing. The talented, diminutive 26 year old 1967 125cc world champion Bill Ivy had been in racing nine years in all, the last three years with Yamaha. He left Brands Hatch that day for the very last time, saying he was no longer interested in the sport and never wanting to race again.At 5:45pm the final of the up to 1000cc Evening News Sidecar Race of the South concluded the day's action. 18 outfits lined up for the push start. In the 10 lap race Chris Vincent started as favourite but the Brummie suffered an early misfire with his BSA powered outfit. Meanwhile up front a tremendous battle raged to the flag between the 654cc BSA machines of Peter Brown and Terry Vinicombe, Brown just getting the verdict by a few yards from our employee Terry Vinicombe aided by John Flaxman. The veteran ace Pip Harris, BMW, made up the rostrum positions. The day was over. The crowd dispersed, happy with a good 12s 6d worth of champion's action.