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‘I don’t like the term boy racer’: S4C documentary series lifts bonnet on Welsh car scene

31 Jan 2022 4 minute read
S4C: Pen Petrol – Nathan Owen & Kai Evans

A TV documentary series will shed new light on the ever-growing and diverse car scene in Wales.

The series Pen Petrol (Petrol Head), which premieres on tonight on S4C, goes under the bonnet to hear from car enthusiasts who enjoy modifying their vehicles, taking part in night-time back-road rallies and holding mass social gatherings.

Although participants acknowledge that the car scene in Wales is seen as ‘laddish’ and ‘anti-social’ by some, the series offers a different insight into the lives of the men and women who enjoy meeting every weekend to showcase their vehicles.

One group which features throughout the series is Unit Thirteen, a group of enthusiasts which has members from Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy and across the north.

S4C: Pen Petrol – Craig Gilmour

Unit Thirteen member Craig Gilmour, from Llangefni, said: “I don’t like the term boy-racer. I’m enthusiastic about cars. But I don’t race people on my drive home from work. A lot of people tend to paint us all with the same brush as the people who make idiots of themselves.

“As a group, we are pretty mechanically-minded. We have boys who paint, detail, paint correction, vinyl wrapping, we’ve got engineers and machine specialists. We meet so many different people who are into so many different cars.”

Fellow Unit Thirteen member Lewis Rushton, from Llanddaniel Fab, added: “We’ve done so well as a group over the last 10 years not to gain a bad reputation. We’re respected as a car group. We try not to have people doing wheelspins, donuts, revving and things like that.”

In the first episode, we are introduced to fellow Bangor-based car group, Midnight Runners, who are behind some of the biggest social meets in north Wales.

The group have recently held meets in retail park and supermarket car parks in Llandudno and Bangor, which have attracted hundreds of people and their cars.

‘Police attention’ 

Despite police attention and social media criticism, the group insist that they discourage any behaviour which would be deemed as ‘anti-social driving’.

Midnight Runners member Siân Wyn, from Llanberis, said: “We’re out on most Friday and Saturday nights for meets or whatever events that have been organised. You get the odd one who will spoil it for everyone else by doing a burnout, lifting their handbrake or doing a donut, and that’s when the police turn up.”

Midnight Runners member Nathan Owen, from Llanerchymedd, added: “We’ve actually packed out Llandudno car park before and that has 400, 500 spaces. And when we’re there, you see people in their windows filming us on the way there and as we leave. They say on Facebook that we’ve been there all night, spending six hours revving loudly. But it’s only a three-hour stay! We’re not above the law, we listen.

“We actually wear high-vis in our meets and when the police turn up, they actually thank us because they can see that we’re trying to keep it organised. But even with the police presence, there’s always someone doing a handbrake turn somewhere. The police are not big fans of the scene, whatsoever.”

The six-part series, which is available to watch as a boxset, will shed light on different aspects of the car scene in north Wales, including classic car events, drift cars, ‘nighter’ rallies on the Lleyn Peninsula and an exclusive supercar meet on Anglesey.

Watch Pen Petrol at 9.35pm on Monday, on S4C, or watch the whole boxset on S4C Clic and the Hansh YouTube page.

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What Ismyname
What Ismyname
2 years ago

Sad to see the glorification of idiots who consume precious energy resources simply to feed their own egos.

Twm Teth
2 years ago
Reply to  What Ismyname

Yes and I bet you think they all should have a proper haircut, and the music was better in your day and bring back national service .Its their hobby and they are passionate about it what’s wrong with that?

2 years ago
Reply to  Twm Teth

The noise at 2 o clock in the morning as those idiots spin around town – the total lack of consideration for anyone around them – thats a starter for ten!

Twm Teth
2 years ago
Reply to  Dafydd

The same could be said about people coming out of pubs and clubs shouting and brawling, street cleaning teams using drivers in their vans and lorry’s do you think these are inconsiderate Dafydd?Most of these car enthusiasts frequent out of town retail car parks at weekends and not town centres seven day a week.

2 years ago
Reply to  Twm Teth

you cant hear any of them from miles away though can you? Boy racer exhausts are so loud we can still hear them 3 mins after theyve past by our place. They’re a massive annoyance to the majority of us, esp. in summer when we have to sleep with the windows open. Frankly making your car sound all loud and powerful is sad, pathetic – deeply childish. Broom, Broom!.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
2 years ago

Just go private instead, and pay for an enlargement!!!

Last edited 2 years ago by Dai Rob

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