THE trials and tribulations of boy racers have been uncovered in a new documentary filmed in Thurrock.
A series of short films called “Rule Britannia” by production company VICE looks at certain cultures in the UK with the latest installment, “Boy Racer”, focusing on the highs and lows of racing culture across the country.
The program, co-directed by a Grant Armour and Rhys James, studies the large racing community which uses Lakeside Retail Park to meet up and show off their souped-up cars.
Grant, 27, went to Southend High School for Boys, and says he wanted the documentary to show another side to the term ‘boy racer’.
He said: “Driving is often an escape and in the past people have sought to demonise car enthusiasts for what they enjoy doing.
“I had a Ford KA when I was growing up and I put some cheap hub-caps on it so it is incredible to see how much money some people spend.”
The film follows Danny Parsons, acting Inspector on the roads policing section with Essex Police, and Mike Bignell, PC in the operational support group, as they patrol the roads around the borough.
The 30-minute film speaks to racers who dedicate their lives to their wheels with one racer proudly boasting the 2,500 stickers on his car whilst another complains the Job Centre only pays for a van, and not a car, for him to get to work - before meeting up with fellow racers.
Rhys, also 27, added: “People put a lot of time and money into what they love doing. The view these people are a social nuisance pushes them out to the fringes of society, but by increasing understanding that may not happen.”
Acting Insp Parsons said: "We were more than happy to be part of the documentary as we want to do all we can to ensure the roads are safe and being used correctly.
"The film portrayed a balanced view of the culture of cruising and, from our perspective, we were pleased it showed some of the severe pitfalls of racing. We don't want anyone losing their lives."
Grant and Rhys have been involved in a number of documentaries in the Rule Britannia series, including one on the UK wrestling scene.
The films can be watched in full at www.VICE.com.