Top Hat Racing
With as many as six different groups, Julius Thurgood’s Top Hat Racing organisation offered racing for most 1950s and ’60s sports and saloon cars. The programme was topped and tailed by domestic events at Castle Combe and Mallory Park, and also took in Pau, Chimay and Spa-Francorchamps.
The Top Hat Series for pre-66 Historic Touring Cars became solely for Appendix K cars in 2005 and that did nothing to harm support. The Ford Falcon of Leo Voyazides and Andy Bacon won well at Castle Combe as Richard Shaw and Nick Whale chased furiously in the former’s BMW 1800, while other race winners included the Ford Mustang of Richard Styles/John Young and, at Pau, the similar Mustang of Paul Ingram/Chris Chiles.
When the V8s stayed away the smaller cars had their day, and it was Peter Sugden and Peter Rutt on top at Chimay in their Alfa Romeo GTA.
The Cloth Cap pre-66 Sports Car season opened with a double win for the Elva Mk8 of David Clark and Richard Oldworth. At the end of the year the Mk7 of Steve Farthing/Chris Sharpe scored at Mallory Park, while the thundering AC Cobra of Grahame and Oliver Bryant won at Spa.
Elsewhere on the Top Hat programme, races included the ‘Oldies but Goldies’ pre-60 sports and saloons and the new ‘Groovy Baby’ ’70s Saloons series. Winners included Adam Crowton (Lotus Elite) and Capri racer David Thomas.