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Warsaw. Illegal racing. Recordings | TVN Warsaw

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They meet on Saturday evenings and chase through the streets of the city until late hours. “Burning rubber” and competition “from the line” are the iron points of the program. About a hundred cars and even a thousand people take part in each rally. Police officers also arrive at these meetings. Then the organizers, using a free internet application, inform the participants about the new location and effectively lose the police patrols. We checked what illegal races look like in the capital.

According to the data of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, from January 2021 to August 2022, emergency number operators received nearly 16,000 reports of illegal races in Warsaw (the ministry did not send us data for the entire year 2022).

On one of the weekends in July, we took a look at how illegal races are organized. The biggest surprise was how easy it was to find information about the meetings and watch the night races up close. The scale of the “event” and low police activity were also striking.

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“A community that aims to bring together lovers of a strong dose of adrenaline” – the organizers from Warsaw Night Racing write about themselves. It is on the social media profile of WNR, on Saturdays in the afternoon, information about meetings is posted. It is practically always 8 pm, and the places are shopping center parking lots.

The organizers in the comment to the post do not write the address directly, they give the longitude and latitude, thanks to which the navigation precisely leads to the place. In this way, everyone can become a spectator of night racing. We reach the parking lot in Janki, near ul. common.

Seemingly hermetic environment. Just scan the code

“Please do not smoke at the collection point and throw garbage after yourself in the bins!” – appeal the organizers. “Highlighting” is nothing more than driving a car in such a way that smoke comes out of the tires combined with the roar of the engine, the so-called burning rubber.

The place of the rally is attended by both luxury cars worth several hundred thousand zlotys, as well as several-year-old vehicles, many of which can be found on the streets. There are also those that immediately arouse interest in modifications: extended wheel arches, spoilers, wide rims or louder exhaust pipes. There are dozens of motorcyclists among the participants.

As requested by the organizers, the meeting proceeds calmly, with talks and taking pictures. Everything is watched by two policemen on motorcycles. Several dozen minutes after the start of the event, a marked police car also arrives.

After 9 p.m., there is a clear impatience among the participants. Most expect what they came for – racing. “Today, due to the increased activity of the police, we extend the first spot until 10.30 p.m. More info will come in at 10.30 p.m.,” announce the organizers. Except that this information, as well as the next ones this evening, no longer goes to publicly available social media profiles. From that moment, the organizers communicate with the participants only using a free messaging application.

Joining an audience is simple. It is enough to find WNR representatives in the parking lot, which is not difficult, because they sell stickers with the organization’s logo from one of the vehicles in the trunk. A man sitting on a chair next to him provides a QR code to anyone willing, after scanning we become recipients of the message about the group’s further plans.

“We’re shifting.” There are so many of them that traffic jams form

Cars leave the car park before 10.30 pm. The organizers sent a message read by nearly 700 people: “We are moving. Please park under [tu wymieniona jest nazwa sklepu] Parking under [pada nazwa drugiego sklepu] we leave it under the heat”. Precise geographic data indicating the area at the shopping center at Połczyńska Street are attached below.

On the way, on the S8 route, we are passed by vehicles that we saw a moment earlier in the parking lot in Janki. Their speed is much higher than allowed on this section of the route, they usually rush in groups, often slalom bypassing ordinary traffic participants.

A group of several hundred people are waiting in the parking lot of the shopping center, and more are arriving. There are so many participants of the rally that traffic jams form on the streets on the way to the next location, like in rush hour, despite the late hour. Everyone, according to the organizers’ instructions, parks in the indicated place.

The speeding vehicles enter the center of the parking lot one by one. Their drivers make cars skid, you can hear the screeching of tires, you can see smoke from under the wheels, high engine speeds increase the noise. And so for about 20 minutes. Then the engines die down and the spectators run to their cars. Reason? An unmarked BMW from the police group Speed ​​arrives at the scene, interrupting the show.

But the officers did not stop anyone, they did not even get out of the police car. The car park quickly emptied, and the organizers sent information about the next spot. At the exit from the parking lot, we see another, this time marked, police car, policemen control one vehicle.

Playing cat and mouse with the police. They’re blocking police cars

The next place is a parking lot at one of the supermarkets in Italy. On the spot, it turns out that it is not about the parking lot, but about the roundabout on ul. Szyszkowa, near the intersection with al. Krakowska. Again, a group of several hundred spectators gathers around, and more speeding cars, skidding sideways, circle the roundabout. No obstacle separates the observers from the speeding vehicles, except for a curb and a piece of greenery. During this time, traffic flows normally and other vehicles, moving in accordance with the regulations, also enter the intersection.

The show lasts for over 20 minutes. It ends with the flashing lights of a police car entering Szykowa from al. Krakowska. The police, however, cannot get to the roundabout itself, they are blocked by the vehicles of the participants of the rally. In this way, those who were “burning rubber” a moment earlier managed to drive away.

Soon comes another message: “We have to wait because we have booked spots.” This means that police patrols are to be located in other car parks used during rallies. But just a minute later, new location data appears: a parking lot in Ursynów. At the entrance to the S2 route, we are passed by a police car of the Warsaw traffic police going towards Szyszkowa with its siren on, and police officers from the Speed ​​group, who intervened at Połczyńska Street several dozen minutes earlier, also arrived. There is no one else at the roundabout on Szyszkowa then.

The main attraction of the evening – the race “on the line”

On the way to Ursynów another message arrives: “We are changing direction. Hotel [pada jego nazwa]”. “Please note that after the race we do not go back around. You’re not going backwards. Who knows [się] does not chase, parks immediately at the roundabouts” (original spelling) – instruct the organizers.

Drivers, from two vehicles placed side by side, compete by speeding along a straight stretch of road in the same direction. The arena of struggle becomes the service road of the S8 route, near the roundabout. Maria Kaczyńska in Sękocin Stary, in the Pruszków district. The second favorite place for this is Wirażowa Street in Warsaw, next to the cargo terminal.

There is no shortage of volunteers. Both to chase and to watch. The messages in the application show that at the end of the straight at ul. Pęcicka, the organizers make sure that another vehicle does not enter the race route. This is probably the only attempt on their part to create the appearance of security.

Vehicles block the entire width of the roadway. The starting signal is given by a young woman standing between the cars. Spectators stand along the route, on the roadside. Speeding on a narrow, unlit roadway, vehicles sometimes pass them by several dozen centimeters.

The race is attended by both very fast cars, with a power of several hundred horses, and those with weaker engines. There are also motorcycles. After the race, according to the organizer’s guidelines, they come back around to take part in the competition again. It lasts until 1 am.

The races end after several dozen minutes. Then comes another message: “We have the police.” The marked patrol, as it was in previous places, tries to squeeze between the vehicles of the participants. The spectators run to their cars.

A few minutes later, a second police car also appears, but at this point there is no trace of the races and their participants. “We run the National Stadium” – this is another information from the organizer. Dozens of vehicles arrive at the stadium. They will be there until 2 o’clock.

“We have a right to it.” They refer to… the constitution

We sent questions directly to the organizers to the address provided in social media. We wanted to find out if they had permission to organize Saturday meetings, what security measures accompany “burning rubber” and races on the straight, why information about the next meeting places is not publicly available, just like the starting place of the event.

– It’s not illegal racing. Everything we do is constitutional and we have the right to do so,” one of the main organizers said in a telephone conversation. We ask how drastic violation of traffic rules is related to the constitution? – If someone breaks the rules, that’s what the police are for, to hand out fines. The fact that one or the other breaks the rules does not mean that the whole group is pirates, the man replies, adding that charity collections are also organized during the meetings, e.g. for orphanages.

When in conversation we point specifically to the rules of racing and methods of avoiding the police, the man replies laconically: – We have a different opinion here.

At the end of the conversation, he agrees to the meeting, which he eventually cancels. A moment later, the participants of the races receive a message via the web application: “Since Saturday’s meeting there is a change [pada nazwa komunikatora]so you need to go for a new link. The way in which information is provided will also change, but you will find out everything on Saturday.”

Trading sweatshirts and stickers. The shop owner cuts himself off from racing

Information about the date of the meetings appears on the social media profile of Warsaw Night Racing. The account is followed by over 100,000 users. It is also the address of an online store offering automotive gadgets, mostly marked with the organizers of Saturday races. We reached its owner. He strongly emphasized that he “does not want to be associated with WNR” and does not participate in races.

“I am an entrepreneur who met the creator of WNR at the beginning of the year. Wanting to help develop the store project, offering my help and knowledge, seeing the potential of social media, I agreed to run the store” – he declared. “For me, it was a community that meets every Saturday and praises its cars, more or less tuned. I was once at the beginning of the year to see what age range of participants I am dealing with to prepare the right offer. That’s all,” he wrote.

We sent questions to the Warsaw Police Headquarters regarding the officer’s actions towards the organizers of the races. We asked them to share their effects. Up to the time of publication, we have not received a response.

Street racing and drifting. Nine people detained after a night rally in KomornikiDariusz Lapinski/Fakty TVN

Author:Artur Wegrzynowicz

Main photo source: Artur Węgrzynowicz, tvnwarszawa.pl

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