Le­ices­ter­shire UK’s Con­voy in the Park

A week­end of truck rac­ing, truck shows, live mu­sic and a party-like at­mos­phere en­ticed al­most 1,000 truck own­ers to Con­voy in The Park in Le­ices­ter­shire, Eng­land in July. Glo­be­trot­ting cor­re­spon­dent Rod Han­nifey re­ports

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This was the se­cond year of an ex­cit­ing new truck show in the UK, held at the Don­ing­ton Park Rac­ing Cir­cuit in Le­ices­ter­shire on July 21 and 22. With the suc­cess of the first show in 2017, and be­ing able to then break the Guin­ness Book of World Records with the big­gest num­ber of trucks of one make in one place last year with

421 Sca­nias, they were off to a fly­ing start.

This year they did again of­fer a gift pack if you brought your Sca­nia along and this may have en­ticed a few more to at­tend to reach the record last year, but the ex­tent to which some of these own­ers go is amaz­ing. The ex­tremes went from a Robin Wil­liams trib­ute show­ing scenes from many of his movies, to Bri­tish rally le­gends, plus other movie scenes or themes cov­er­ing ev­ery part of the truck, even to the fuel tanks. In­cor­po­rat­ing a round of the Bri­tish Truck Rac­ing Cham­pi­onships, rac­ing 2CVs (small funny French Citroens), sports cars and ute rac­ing, it was all in­cluded in the ad­mis­sion price. Kids un­der 13 were al­lowed in for free as well.

There were close to 1,000 show trucks on dis­play, plus rides and en­ter­tain­ment for the

whole fam­ily, in­clud­ing a cir­cus. Need­less to say, there was a lot on. Free live mu­sic on the Sat­ur­day night as well as dur­ing the rest of the show kept the at­mos­phere pump­ing. Many of the driv­ers parked up on the hill par­tied till late Sat­ur­day and a lone few stayed over till Mon­day morn­ing. If you weren’t keen on the mu­sic, you could at­tend the stand-up com­edy fes­ti­val in the big top.

Many, of course, had to get back to work Sun­day for Mon­day, but ev­ery­one I caught up with was hav­ing a great time.

SHOW PONY KEN­WORTHS

Sorry to say there were no Ken­worths in the truck rac­ing event, although there were two on site you could pay to have a drive in (I did hear some gear crunch­ing go­ing on).

Ap­par­ently, one of the Ken­worths was pre­vi­ously owned by Burt Reynolds. In­ci­den­tally, the Ken­worths’ own­ers are not al­lowed to use their trucks for freight pur­poses in the UK.

They would not fit on many of the lo­cal roads, so are only al­lowed to be shown at events such as this.

One lo­cal com­pany, Tay­lors Trans­port, had nearly 50 trucks on site, from rigids to prime movers and trail­ers, as well as its race team. They had a mar­quee set up with en­ter­tain­ment for

staff, driv­ers and guests. As per last year, Tay­lors sup­plied two au­to­matic Volvos, so if you made

a suitable dona­tion to a nom­i­nated char­ity, you could go for a ride with the driver-trainer in the Volvo’s pas­sen­ger seat around a test track.

The Volvos out­did the Ken­worths for pop­u­lar­ity. When I ar­rived on the Sun­day morn­ing there was a queue of more than 20 wait­ing for their turn in the trucks. I spoke with one young woman who had com­pleted a cir­cuit. She ad­mit­ted it was only her se­cond time in a big truck, but she be­lieved it was a good idea giv­ing car driv­ers a chance to see things from the lorry driver’s per­spec­tive. It opened her eyes, giv­ing her new re­spect for the driv­ers. She added that she would now change her driv­ing be­hav­iour around the big­ger lor­ries.

CARAVAN SMASH

A truck pull with many strong­men in har­ness, go­ing up­hill, in the same area of the park kept the crowd en­thralled. You could also get a ride

in a mon­ster truck with seats on the back like an open-bus-style ar­range­ment, a ride in a drift car and then there was the truck drift­ing and caravan

smash. I did see a video of this from last year and knew I could not miss this bit of fun.

The trucks started off tow­ing off­set vans. Although the trucks weren’t al­lowed to come in con­tact with each other, the rules ac­cord­ing to the PA were that the one with the most dam­age to their caravan was the win­ner.

Af­ter a few tame passes, the crowd was get­ting keen. Then, in one mas­sive hit, both vans vir­tu­ally dis­in­te­grated, and then it was spin and burn un­til one truck popped a tyre – it was as black as coal drift­ing in the air.

There was also an im­pres­sive dis­play of drift cars from Team Max­i­mum Lock; pre­ci­sion driv­ing of the drift kind, with three of the driv­ers stand­ing on their cars as they slowly cir­cled to­gether for

a fi­nale.

Many truck man­u­fac­tur­ers and dis­trib­u­tors had ex­ten­sive truck dis­plays, parts and com­po­nent sup­pli­ers and other stalls, in­clud­ing many with large ranges of UK truck mod­els for sale.

The truck rac­ing was fast and fu­ri­ous with some con­tact, but gen­er­ally done in the gen­tle­manly way you would ex­pect in the ‘Mother Coun­try’. For a week­end of trucks and truck­ing, it would

be hard to find wider ap­peal or more ex­cite­ment and en­ter­tain­ment than here. Well done to the or­gan­is­ers for a ter­rific event.

A mostly Sca­nia line-up at Don­ing­ton Park with the oc­ca­sional Volvo mak­ing up the num­bers

This Sca­nia came with im­pres­sive Avatar art­work

A typ­i­cally grey English day greeted ex­hibitors and at­ten­dees for Con­voy in the Park

An artis­tic trib­ute to Robin Wil­liams

A smart Sca­nia from WG Hill & Son. The com­pany’s roots can be traced back to the 1800s

Bon­net­ted trucks, such as these two Ken­worths, are a rare sight in the UK

Pump Fishin’ or Pulp Fic­tion?

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