BMW drivers raced each other down the motorway on a Saturday jolly to Cheddar Gorge, a court heard.

Magistrates were told one of the drivers – a London medical student – got cold feet at Fleet Services on the M3 while a second crashed his hired BMW after skidding off the road near Warminster.

Two other men allegedly involved in the motorway jinx are due before JPs in December.

Prosecutor Nick Barr told Swindon Magistrates’ Court yesterday the group met on the M25 near Cobham, Surrey, on October 26 last year, having planned a trip down to the West Country.

Footage from a GoPro camera found in the car that later crashed showed the men racing down the M25 then the M3 – a distance of roughly 30 miles.

The video was shot in the hired BMW M140i driven by 23-year-old Pedro Hunte. At points in the video he was seen accelerating while going under a bridge in order to maximise the engine noise, undertaking 11 cars and asking his passenger if he could see a “Fed 5 series” – a reference to the unmarked saloon cars driven by motorway police officers.

BMW M3 driver Atif Haider, 22, also took part in the escapades. Mr Barr said the medical student was among those involved in what appeared to be a race along a section of the motorway. The cars formed a line across the carriageway, slowing down traffic to create a clear space of road ahead then racing up the tarmac.

Swindon Advertiser:


Some time later, at 12.40pm, police were called to reports of a crash involving Hunte’s M140i on the B390 between Shrewton and Chitterne.

Another driver said he had been overtaken by Hunte, who was said to be on his phone, on the A360 in Shrewton.

The BMW turned off the A-road towards Chitterne, overtook two vehicles including a small coach, then hit a puddle and skidded off the road. Police described the weather at the time as windy and wet.

Hunte and his passenger were taken to Salisbury District Hospital. The former refused to cooperate with police and so his injuries were unknown while the latter suffered a broken leg.

Crash investigators found a GoPro camera in the footwell of the BMW and discovered the footage shot earlier in the day. The car had a device fitted behind the dashboard designed to block the mileage. The instrument also prevented the speedometer from working properly, Mr Barr said.

Hunte, of Dabbs Hill Lane, Ealing, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving near Warminster and driving without consideration of others on the M25 and M3. Haider, of Levett Gardens, Ilford, admitted careless driving.

Swindon Advertiser:


Mark Williams, for Haider, said his client was remorseful. He only knew one member of the group, although had since disassociated himself from him. He believed they were meeting for a “nice journey to Cheddar Gorge” but had gone along with the group against his better judgement when he heard “what fun they were going to have”, Mr Williams said. By the time he got to Fleet Services he had had enough and headed home.

Haider was a medical student in London and the offending was out of character. Mr Williams said: “In my submission you will never see him do any foolishness like this again.”

Magistrates fined Haider £150 and imposed nine penalty points, resulting in a six month ban under the totting rules. He was ordered to pay £117 in costs and surcharge.

The justices ordered a pre-sentence report for Hunte, who was bailed to return to Swindon Magistrates’ Court on December 16 for sentence. Although disqualified from driving since October 2020, he was made subject to a second interim disqualification.