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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Kent racer revvs up for the weekend

Brands Hatch race circuit in Kent is once again roaring to the sound of superbikes this weekend. Almost 40 riders took part in practice sessions this morning including Sittingbourne's Shane "Shakey" Byrne. He's currently 12 points clear after just one race so far. That's despite a crash in which he broke his hand in pre-season testing.

David Johns went along to see how things are shaping up, speaking to Shane Byrne and race series director Stuart Higgs.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Truck couple ready for competition

The sound of 1,000 horsepower truck engines will reverberate around Brands Hatch this weekend as the British Truck Racing Championship kicks off at the Kent circuit. But there's a twist this time round as two of the competitors are husband and wife - and each is determined to see the other off.

David Johns reports, speaking to championship organiser Jonathan Reeves, racing couple Joanne and Wayne Eason, and three times European champion Jochen Hahn.


  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Man jailed for racetrack prank

A labourer from Wadhurst in East Sussex has been jailed for public nuisance after endangering lives at the Brands Hatch race circuit. 22-year-old Jack Cottle drove a VW Polo onto the track in the middle of a race and did a lap while a friend filmed them from the back seat. He's been sentenced to eight months. David Johns reports.

VIDEO: Labourer jailed for driving onto race track

A labourer from Wadhurst in East Sussex has been jailed for eight months for recklessly endangering lives at the Brands Hatch race circuit. Jack Cottle, 22, drove a VW Polo onto the track in the middle of a race and did a lap, while a friend filmed them from the back seat. Watch David Johns report.


Owner of Brands Hatch welcomes sentencing

“I am really pleased that Kent Police and the Court have quite rightly taken such a tough stance on this deliberately reckless act, which endangered the lives of the drivers racing on circuit and the volunteer track marshals, not to mention Jack Cottle and his passengers.

His idiotic and selfish behaviour – aggravated by his unrepentant attitude in subsequent media coverage - received much immediate condemnation. His conviction and prison sentence will serve to reinforce the message that this kind of antisocial behaviour is not only stupid, but will lead to prosecution.”

– Jonathan Palmer, Chief Executive of MSV (the owner of Brands Hatch)

Man jailed over race track car dare

Jack Cottle, 22, who appeared on the track in his VW Polo Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A labourer has been jailed for eight months after driving his girlfriend's Volkswagen Polo on to the Brands Hatch circuit during a race.

22 year-old Jack Cottle gatecrashed the Fun Cup endurance race at the track in Kent on June the 14th with his girlfriend and a friend on board as passengers.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that he put the lives of racers at danger after being "egged on" to drive a full circuit after accessing the track via a pit lane.

YouTube footage which has been viewed more than two million times shows Cottle ignoring his hysterical girlfriend as she implores him repeatedly to "stop it".

She then tells him that he is "going the wrong way" before screaming "Jack, oh my God!" as she realises he is taking the car on to the track to laughter from his backseat passenger.

Last month Cottle pleaded guilty to "causing a nuisance to the public by driving on to the race track at Brands Hatch whilst an endurance race was in progress".

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".

The court heard that Cottle, his girlfriend and his friend paid £14 per head to watch the four-hour race as spectators. But Judge Joy said that around three and a half hours into the race, Cottle "saw an opportunity" to get on to the race track.

His girlfriend had to be taken to the on-site medical centre after having a panic attack, while Cottle came off the track laughing, the judge said.

One driver thought the VW Polo was a doctor's vehicle or a safety car but when it emerged it was a prank, other racers who had paid to compete became upset at their day being ruined. In footage shown in court, one driver had to have his release from the pit lane delayed as Cottle drove the white VW Polo on to the track.

Prosecutor Iestyn Morgan said racers were travelling at speeds of 100mph, while Cottle was behind the wheel of an ordinary road car with no roll cage or fire extinguisher.

He said, "It was quite clear that (Cottle) put himself and his passengers in danger, and those of drivers on the track who would not have expected a car going considerably slower."

As he was led away to the cells, Cottle blew kisses to family and friends in the public gallery.

Bygone age- curiosities in the South from the Pathe archive

What do an elephant's ear muffs, Britain's biggest family and a two year old parachutist have in common? They're just some of the more unusual stories filmed by Pathe newsreel cameras in the South during the middle of the last century. Made to be shown between feature films in cinemas, they were the Meridian "and finally" stories of their day. Rachel Hepworth looks at some of the more curious stories making the headlines. (And if you feature in any of these stories, we'd love to hear from you- especially the two year old parachutist!)

Down the pub in a bygone era - Pathe gems in the South East

The plight of the local pub is never far from the headlines, with hundreds in the south east closing every year. But the sad truth is, we don't use them in them in the way we used to, in the days before television and digital technology.

As historic newsreels show, the pub really was the centre of community life. Rachel Hepworth's been looking at a bygone way of life, in the Pathe archives

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