Willowbank 'cool bus' action


This Saturday’s motor racing action at Willowbank Raceway will see a school bus promotion with a difference

Willowbank 'cool bus' action
Willowbank ‘cool bus’ action

By David Goeldner | January 20, 2012

This weekend’s Willowbank Raceway near Ipswich will see a slightly slower pace as two Southern Cross Transit ‘sChOOL buses’ head around the track in an exhibition to promote next week’s return to schools in Queensland.

Southern Cross Transit Managing Director Frank Oliveri says the intention is to promote school bus travel in environmentally-friendly and safe vehicles.

"The cool bus idea came from an English bus magazine and I have adopted it for Australia," Oliveri says.

"I’m an amateur racer and the fact that this Willowbank event is a few days before schools return I thought what better event to showcase my investment, and the Queensland Government’s investment, in the latest and safest buses – and let’s put them on show."

Oliveri is inviting parents and students to come on board one of his sChOOL buses for a ride down the track to promote investment in safe school travel.

Representatives of Man Automotive Imports will be at the track on Saturday afternoon for the event.

The two Southern Cross Transit buses on show at Willowbank on Saturday afternoon, from 5pm, are a Volvo B7R Mk3 Euro 5 and an MAN 18.280 Euro 4.

Southern Cross Transit will have an information stand at Willowbank across the qualifying, elimination and main events which start at 9am and run through to 10pm that evening.

School travel information packs will be available on the stand, with staff on hand to discuss public transport needs.

From 5pm the buses will pass around the track, one with invited parents and students, driven at a slow, safe pace, followed by three further circuits of the track by the MAN and Volvo without passengers.

Then it’s on to an evening racing program featuring Frank Oliveri competing in his 1971 GTR Torana after lining up for heats through the day, which he expects to win, and then on to elimination rounds.

"I’m feeling good and want to win this event," Oliveri says.

"One of the goals of amateur and professional racers is to get a national trophy," he says.

The trophy Oliveri hopes to take back to his depot at Karalee, just north of Ipswich, is a golden Christmas tree designed to replicate the track’s staging lights.

"My ultimate goal is to have one sitting on my mantle," he says.

Qualifying races start at 9am, Saturday January 21, with racing starting at 3.30pm. Main event starts after the Southern Cross Transit sChOOL bus track promotion at 5pm.

For program details go to www.willowbankraceway.com.au

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