An Adelaide social media prankster who drove a car filled with water to a local bottle shop has faced court for the first time over the stunt.
- Michael Alexander Philippou was charged with numerous driving offences
- Video shows him driving while submerged in a car filled with water
- The clip has been viewed millions of times, and supporters accompanied him to court
Michael Alexander Philippou, who runs the popular RackaRacka YouTube channel along with identical twin brother Danny, on Wednesday faced the Christies Beach Magistrates Court charged with numerous driving offences.
The ‘scuba driving’ video was posted in January 2019 during a heatwave in Adelaide, and was also shared through other YouTube accounts, attracting millions of page views.
It shows Mr Philippou driving the vehicle, with fellow prankster Jackson O’Doherty, while wearing breathing apparatus.
The leaking Ford Laser eventually pulls up at a bottle shop where the men order beers and then drink them while submerged.
Mr Philippou was later charged with offences including driving in a reckless or dangerous manner, driving an unregistered vehicle and failing to wear a seatbelt.
Outside court, Mr Philippou was accompanied by an entourage of supporters and at one point pretended to get stuck in a door.
Asked whether he was surprised charges had been laid, Mr Philippou said: “It is what it is, I’m looking to secure the non-conviction and that is it”.
“I’m confident as always. I’ve been ready for this. We’ve been training hard for this. It will be quick,” he said.
Mr Philippou said friends and family had “come to see me off because I’ll probably be going to jail”.
The brothers claimed the stunt involved the “world’s first underwater car”
“Our car doesn’t have air-conditioning so we’ve designed a car which can drive while full of water,” one of the twins said in the video.
Mr Philippou was previously banned from travelling interstate or overseas as part of his bail conditions.
His defence lawyer Joseph Henderson on Wednesday sought to overturn those conditions, but Magistrate Susan O’Connor said it had already taken enough time to track down Mr Philippou.
“Numerous attempts were made by police to speak to his father,” Magistrate O’Connor said.
However, Mr Philippou has been granted permission to travel interstate until the next court hearing, and was set to travel to Melbourne on Wednesday evening.
The case has been adjourned and Mr Philippou will face court again next month.
The brothers have acquired a cult following since shooting to fame in 2014 with their Harry Potter versus Star Wars clip.
They have made it into a top 10 list of Australia’s most influential cultural people, in the Australian Financial Review, and were named in Variety magazine’s list of top “Famechangers”.
RackaRacka’s early YouTube clips were made at their father’s house at suburban Pooraka, north of Adelaide.