Julius Thurgood has been actively involved in the motorsport world for more than 45-years. His early racing career saw him racing in Touring and Sports Car events alongside the likes of Gerry Marshall, Tony Lanfranchi, Barry Williams, Sir Stirling Moss, Eddie Jordan and the Brundle family.

An early progression into the somewhat less frenetic historic racing world saw Julius working on events such as the inaugural Silverstone Festival, when sponsored by Christie’s and later, Coys – whilst continuing his racing career with the HGPCA in historic Grand Prix events. From there, he formed Top Hat Racing, with a then innovative concept to run longer races for historic touring cars, with Julius introducing a blanket regulation to run Dunlop historic race rubber on safety grounds, eschewing the highly dubious practice of the day of running modern race rubber on old cars. For many seasons, Top Hat Racing’s portfolio of pre-’66 Sports, GT & Touring Car races blazed a memorable trail through iconic European circuits such as Chimay, Spa, Dijon, Montlhéry, Nurburgring and Pau.

Alongside running Top Hat Racing, Julius joined Goodwood in 1998 as a senior consultant to the then Lord March, founder of the world-renowned Festival of Speed and Revival meeting. It was the start of an epic twenty-four years, working at the top with the greatest historic racing brand in the world. However, such was Top Hat Racing’s status in historic racing, it became the subject of a very amicable takeover by Masters Historic Racing in 2006, leaving Julius to concentrate on Goodwood events and expand his historic car sales consultancy – but not for long! By 2010, Julius had founded the Historic Racing Drivers Club (HRDC), primarily to promote pre-’60 Touring Car events, a category that had lost its direction at the time. Within a single season, the HRDC had revived the category, by staging sell-out grids at all major events and by offering a dynamic conduit for competitors to the attention of Goodwood’s competition selectors.

Since the inception of the HRDC, much innovation from Julius has followed: the much applauded one-make HRDC ‘Academy’ for Austin A30/35, the HRDC ‘Classic Alfa Challenge’ and latterly the flamboyant HRDC ‘Gerry Marshall Trophy’ for Gp.1 cars. Is there more innovation to come? Just watch this space!