Missiles were hurled at police cars and officers were verbally abused as they dealt with speeding motorists using a South Yorkshire road as a race track.
Officers were called to Cortonwood Retail Park in Barnsley last night following concerns from local residents about a gathering of young people in their cars.
Evening and weekend ‘car meets’ at the retail park are common and officers said hundreds of people were there.
But in a Facebook post, South Yorkshire Police’s operational support unit said although the ‘vast majority’ of those at the meet were ‘enjoying themselves’ a ‘small minority were causing problems for the rest’.
They found some motorists using the Dearne Valley Parkway as a race track while ‘hundreds’ of spectators lined the route.
One uninsured motorist in a Ford Fiesta was stopped after being caught driving at over 100mph.
In an open letter posted on Facebook, for those who use Cortonwood for car meets and the Dearne Valley Parkway to speed, the operational support unit said: “Tonight, being sent to Cortonwood to patrol the main arterial route of the Dearne Valley Parkway.
“Hundreds of people lining the dual carriageway, vehicles travelling past at high speed.
“Seeing groups of young people risking their lives, and those of others, in the manner of their driving.
“Colleagues stopping vehicles and trying to give advice, prosecuting where necessary.
“Trying desperately to get the groups of people to see the potential for their actions - fines, points, bans, death.
“Being verbally abused and having items thrown at police vehicles.
“That sense of trying to get through to people, having seen this all before, knowing where it can end up.”
He added: “So a plea from all those of the South Yorkshire Roads Policing Unit, please, please, please stop. Stop risking your lives. Enjoy the location and showing your vehicles off.
“We don't know if we can face having to do that knock on the door again if it goes wrong.”