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
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.
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
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?