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The cool way to get to school

Article Date: 19 January 2012

In what may be one of the more unique drag races in history, two of Australia's safest and greenest school buses will match up on Saturday at Willowbank Raceway.

Southern Cross Transit director Frank Oliveri said the sChOOL BUS Challenge will show off the performance of the buses along with their green credentials and safety.

"Taking the bus to school is the cool thing to do, not only saving time but also helping the environment," he said. "And with the latest safety features they have, it can be done with peace of mind for parents."

Southern Cross Transit's latest Volvo model will take on a M.A.N. bus in a three round challenge, both with 290 horsepower turbocharged engines.

Between racing, children and their parents will also be invited on to the buses to enjoy being a passenger as they roll at a more sedate pace down the famed Willowbank drag strip, giving them a unique opportunity for a behind the scenes look at the raceway.

"The view from ground in one of Australia's safest and most environmentally friendly passenger vehicles will be one that patrons can brag about for years to come," Mr Oliveri said.

While buses are Mr Oliveri's automotive day job, he takes time off on weekends to race a Holden Torana drag car in the Super Sedan category.

"It might be a lot quicker than the buses but I'm actually excited to see which of the buses is going to be faster over a quarter mile," he said.

Southern Cross Transit will be staffing a stand that will have information on services to the schools they provide service to as well as information about the various government assistance schemes that will help with the financial burden of getting children to and from school safely and economically.

The sChOOL BUS Challenge will take place during the Rocket Allstars Racing Series at Willowbank Raceway which draws sportsman competitors from around the nation to the Ipswich facility to race.

Qualifying begins from 9am with racing from 3pm. Entry costs just $20 for adults, $18 for students and kids 13 and under are free.

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