The bill promised everything from junior saloon car racing to supercar GTs, a fire-spitting Holden, four-abreast Legends and the ultra-quick Pragas. Yet as always, it was the sight of mighty 5-tonne, thousand horsepower trucks, duelling side-by-side through the Craner Curves that kept an excited crowd breathless at the weekend. We sent Howard Fielding to capture the best of the action.

Michael Oliver (#12) seals the move on reigning Div. 1 champion Ryan Smith (#1)

Two days of fully-fuelled racing drew thousands to the East Midlands circuit for ‘Convoy in the Park’. With five brake-smoking truck encounters on the bill, championship paceman and five-time champion Ryan Smith was on a mission to take his Daimler ever closer to title number six.

Smith, however, first had to overcome a barrage of challenges from those with an even greater pedigree, including father and son pairing Stuart and Michael Oliver. Dad Stuart is currently a ten-time UK champion, and has won in Europe and around the world too. His son Michael, meanwhile, is quickly establishing himself as a Division 1 race winner with ambitions to not only follow his father but go even better still.

Stuart Oliver (#7) and Simon Reid (#89) battle for the podium places. Reid finished this scrap just two-tenths ahead at the flag.

There’s a huge depth of experience and talent in truck racing, which makes Smiths achievements even more remarkable. Stuart Oliver’s family team, for instance, is now in its 24th year of competition, whist compared to Smith, who only started racing in 2014, Collett first took to the track in 1992.

Smith prepares to launch an attack going into the Old Hairpin
Battles continued right throughout the grid

Whilst the Division 1 trucks conceal advanced braking and suspension systems, allowing them to not only produce astonishing speed, matched with incredible stopping and turning power, Division 2 machines far more resemble production-based trucks, often leading to the type of paint-swapping skirmishes reserved for tin top racing.

Jock Borthwick leads a close encounter of Division 2 racers
John Bowler was another Division 2 driver to reach the class podium

Joining the championship for a one-off outing was former Clio Cup and BTCC racer Paul Rivett, bringing the same NAPA Racing style and branding to trucks as is seen in the touring car paddock. With some 300,000 fans watching annually, NAPA identified the Convoy in the Park meeting as the perfect opportunity to showcase its truck division products to hauliers and operators.

Welcome to Convoy in the Park NAPA Racing
But the real winners were the crowd, treated to a fine feast of full fat racing

All images by Howard Fielding.