PRINCE Harry today (February 15) visited Goodwood Motor Circuit, joining ex-servicemen for a special track day organised by his charity, the Endeavour Fund.
The Royal Foundation - of which Prince Harry is a patron - used the day to provide injured service personnel the opportunity to drive classic cars and raise awareness of the Endeavour Fund.
The fund was created by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry in 2011 to support the recovery of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.
The Prince spent the morning chatting with service personnel before challenging them to a race around the famous motor circuit.
Ready for some friendly competition, he donned his helmet - and took off his shoes - before jumping into a 1964 Aston Martin DB4 and setting off around the tack.
He also sped around in a black Lamborghini Gallardo, a silver Aston Martin and a red Jaguar.
David Wiseman, who was a captain in the Yorkshire Regiment, joined The Endeavour Fund last year after taking part in challenges for Walking With The Wounded.
The 31-year-old, who was shot in the chest in Afghanistan in 2009, is now project manager for the fund.
“The Endeavour Fund promotes sports and adventurous challenges to enable wounded servicemen back on the road to recovery.
“I know what it is like to benefit from something like this - having been there myself.
“I climbed Manaslu, in Nepal, the eighth highest mountain in the world, in 2011, and attempted Everest in 2012. I want to see projects like that happen for other people.”
In the afternoon, Prince Harry visited Goodwood’s Boultbee Flight Academy to launch a flight scholarship for wounded ex-service personnel.
“This whole day has just been absolutely amazing,” said Private Matthew Noakes, who is currently training for his pilot’s license with the help of flying charity, Aerobility, which gives disabled people the chance to take to the skies.
“This is a pretty cool birthday,” added Private Noakes, who turned 34 today.
“First we got to race around in the cars, and now I have the possibility of winning a place on the scholarship.
“Harry is a great guy - really down to Earth and quite awe-inspiring.
“And he’s a hell of a lot taller than I expected.”
The scholarship which Private Noakes is hoping to gain a place on is being operated by Boultbee Flight Academy with support from Aerobility and Flying for Freedom in partnership with The Endeavour Fund.
Beginning in the summer of 2014, a small team of six candidates will be selected to begin a flight training programme to mirror that of WW2 pilot veterans. The programme will see one of the selected candidates progress from a Tiger Moth to a Harvard and finally the Spitfire itself.
It will culminate with one pilot taking a solo flight in a Spitfire, to help mark the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Britain in September 2015.
Pilot veterans from World War Two, and some who fought in the Battle of Britain, were also in attendance at the launch to give their backing to the scheme.
“I am so pleased that Harry is supporting a scheme like this,” said Joy Lofthouse, 91, who was a Spitfire pilot in WW2.
Joy was asked to go along the event because of her wealth of experience, but was relatively unphased by the VIP in her midst, “Prince Harry is one of the only members of the Royal family I hadn’t met. He’s been delightful.”