Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness MBE is raring to go for his first ever truck races at Donington Park’s Convoy in the Park next weekend (12/13 August).
The 23-time TT winner will take part in four International Truck Prix races across the event with Team Oliver Racing, adding to his previous non-motorcycle experience in the Fun Cup championship and Ginetta GT Academy, where he won the rookie class on debut.
McGuinness spoke to Donington Park about how the special call up came after he purchased his very own Scania truck.
“I bought my own truck recently and that opened a few doors for me. Giti Tyres gave me some tyres for it and then got me a spin in the Fun Cup car, with Ellis Hadley and Martin Gibson [who is also racing at the weekend]. I did a round of the Ginetta GT Academy and a bit of rallycross with Ollie O’Donovan (British Rallycross Champion) so I got a new group of friends really. It was just networking, I’ve not been pulling at people’s shirts, just got friendly with them.
“That put me together with Stuart Oliver and he asked if I fancied a go in the truck, too right I do, I’ll take that and grab it with both hands. I’ve had a little spin in his MAN and yeah, it’s a bit bigger than a bike, a bit heavier than that. It’s super exciting, nerve-wracking and I’m definitely out of my comfort zone. We’re lucky to be working with the best in the business, Stuart Oliver and his team.”
McGuinness will be in at the deep end at Convoy in the Park with truck racing famously sparing no victims: “I’ve been watching a bit on YouTube, there’s a bit going on,” he said. “It’s quite aggressive at times. I’ve done plenty of racing but bike racing isn’t really a contact sport.
“I’ll give as good as we get, I’m going be a rookie so I’ll have a target on my back. As long as I hold my own and enjoy it, I want to do a decent job, I know I’m not going to get anywhere near the front with them guys who’ve been doing it for donkeys years but as long as I make a good fist of it and enjoy it, it might open a few more doors in the future, I can’t race bikes forever!
“I’ll be there early, for any track time I want to be in the truck. I want to look at the data, look at what the other drivers are doing and get out on track as much as I can to learn as much as I can.
“I don’t want to go there to bumble around at the back, I want to mix it up a bit.”
McGuinness will race in four International Truck Prix races, two on Saturday 12 August and another two on Sunday 13. Tickets for Convoy in the Park are available online at advance rates with reductions for 13-15-year-olds and free entry for under-13s. Click here for more information and to buy tickets.