A tribute to the bravery of wartime airmen and a display of courage of a different kind were the highlights on the final day of the Goodwood Revival.
The huge crowd looked skywards yesterday as a lone Spitfire performed an evocative flypast in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the legendary Dambusters raid.
Sadly, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster bomber was unable to get off the ground because of high winds. But looking on proudly as a guest of honour was George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, one of the men of 617 Squadron who survived the daring mission back in 1943.
Goodwood owner Lord March said: ‘The operation succeeded, but at enormous cost. We who enjoy our lives today remember them.’
Meanwhile on track, drivers in the showpiece RAC TT Celebration race showed impressive car control as a mid-afternoon downpour quickly turned the Tarmac into a skating rink.
With windscreen wipers struggling to cope in the conditions, those behind the wheel of closed-cockpit GT cars such as Ferraris, E-Type Jaguars and AC Cobras worth more than £150m somehow managed to avoid any serious incidents and put on a real show.
Eventual winners of what people were calling the best Revival race ever were Wolfgang Friedrichs and Simon Hadfield in a 1961 Aston Martin Project 212.
DJ and Ferrari collector Chris Evans was among those experiencing the unique Revival atmosphere as the motor circuit near Chichester went back in time to its heyday of the 1950s and 1960s.
He said: ‘I love the Festival of Speed and I love the Monaco Grand Prix, but Sunday at the Goodwood Revival is like Christmas Day.
‘There is so much to see here that it would take you a few years, not one weekend,’
Motorsport great Sir Stirling Moss was kept busy signing autographs, while other famous faces included Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Jean Alesi and Tom Kristensen, plus Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, comedian Rowan Atkinson, TV chef James Martin and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. Royalty was represented by Zara Phillips.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and design chief Adrian Newey also left behind the hi-tech, pressurised world of F1 to get behind the wheel on a weekend off.
World touring car champion Rob Huff, who drove in several races, was lapping up the experience.
He said: ‘I’m very lucky to have been asked to do this.
‘It’s exciting to take part and the atmosphere and everybody getting dressed up is brilliant.’
Biggest cheers of the day went to those taking part in the Settrington Cup, a strangely silent affair featuring a grid of Austin J40 pedals cars piloted by children.
Another part of the daily programme was a peloton of cyclists marking 100 years of the Tour de France.
Away from the racing, many of the spectators entered into the spirit by dressing in period outfits. From RAF officers with handlebar moustaches and chaps in trilbies to glamorous ladies in fur stoles and seamed stockings, they were part of the show.
People jived to live bands, children slid down a helter skelter and rode on a carousel, while dodgems let everybody imagine they were racing drivers too.