SPANISH police have seized 40 vehicles as they cracked down on an illegal road racing ring that used motorways for highly dangerous races.

Officers from the Guardia Civil and Local Police of Telde on Gran Canaria also made 42 arrests as they ended a three month operation by sending 50 officers in to round up the racers as they prepared for a series of night-time ‘events’.

Police had become aware of the races held on the Canary island’s main GC-1 motorway, with cars and motorcycles hitting high speeds despite the presence of innocent motorists on the road.

A Guardia Civil spokesman said: “Officers intervened in the middle of the illegal race, arrested 42 people, and investigated another six for crimes against road safety.

“Forty vehicles used in the races were seized and impounded and a large number of complaints have been filed against the Road Safety Law, the General Vehicle Regulations and the Citizen Security Law.”

He added: “The participants of the illegal races used an alert system to warn of police presence in the area and therefore resume the races when officers left the area.

“For over three months, a police operation was designed based on discreet and remote surveillance with unmarked  vehicles and police drones that would help capture images that showed the true scope of the activities being carried out.

“Investigators were able to verify how, when competing, participants positioned themselves in parallel across the CG-1, slowed down its normal circulation, and started the competition using the agreed signal: 3 honks of the horn.”

He added: “In these competitions, both passenger cars and mechanically modified motorcycles to increase their power and speed were used.

“They randomly changed lanes and even overtook other road users simultaneously on both the left and right side, causing a serious risk to road safety.

“The motorcycle races had up to seven participants who constantly overtook each other during the six-kilometre round trip that the race lasted.”

The spokesman revealed that large crowds gathered to watch the races, standing dangerously on the verges.

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