Video of a man driving his girlfriend’s Volkswagen onto a British race track during a competition became an Internet hit this summer. But footage of the stunt didn’t impress a judge, who sentenced Jack Cottle, 22, to eight months in jail Monday.
The prank might represent a daydream of many would-be racers. But it also proved why such dreams should be pursued with both care and the proper equipment, as the standard-issue VW Polo (a slightly smaller version of the Golf) moved around the Brands Hatch course at dangerously slow speeds compared to the souped-up Beetle race cars.
From Britain’s The Mirror:
“Today at his sentencing hearing, Judge Martin Joy said Cottle, of Durgates in Wadhurst, East Sussex, had ‘endangered many lives’ as he branded his actions ‘premeditated’ and ‘inexcusable.’ ”
Cottle drove his girlfriend’s car onto the track in Kent, England, where a four-hour endurance race was being held. Called the Fun Cup, it featured VW Beetles — but the cars resemble street models in shape only, as they’re custom-built for racing.
The prank was filmed from the rear seat by another passenger, as Cottle’s girlfriend pleaded with him not to go through with the stunt – and then grew increasingly upset as they made their way around the circuit.
“Seriously, get me out of this situation!” the woman yells at one point, as the rear-seat passenger laughs hysterically.
Judge Martin Joy said that Cottle’s girlfriend required treatment for a panic attack after the car finally left the race course.
The incursion forced the race to be paused, with officials waving red flags to try to prevent an accident. One race official said that when he first saw the car, he thought it might have been part of a medical crew’s transport.