Willowbank Raceway Vice-President, Paul Casos has announced his resignation from the track’s management board after 20 years of dedicated service.
Casos cited his need to reassess his many community commitments and a desire for fresh ideas at the Willowbank board level behind his decision to stand down.
A long-time member of Rotary International, Casos has dedicated his life to contributing to the local community and serves on a number of other boards in Ipswich.
“Rotary’s motto is ‘Service Above Self’. I uphold those principals and am proud to play a role doing so in the local community,” Casos said.
“It has been an enjoyable and satisfying 20 years on the Willowbank board but at 65 years of age I need to reassess some of my responsibilities. I also believe it is time to make way for someone new and allow fresh ideas to flow through.”
Casos first developed a keen interest in drag racing more than 50 years ago when in 1966 he attended DragFest at Surfers Paradise International Raceway with his father and brother.
“We were very excited to witness DragFest and the sport’s stars of the time, but I never thought I would be as active in the sport as I have been so many years later,” he said.
Caso volunteered at Willowbank for its second event after opening in September 1985, working as a commentator – a role he continued to fill for many years, before joining the track’s management in 1997. He was elevated to vice-president five years later.
He lists Willowbank’s evolution into a world-class facility and the growth of the Winternationals into one of the world’s most significant annual drag racing events amongst the many highlights of his time on the board.
“Also being involved in negotiating a multi-year extension to its agreement for CMC Rocks QLD was extremely satisfying. It is an important event for the track and the sport; it generates an income stream outside the core business of racing and provides some protection against rain outs,” Casos said.
Willowbank Raceway President Tony Wedlock paid tribute to Casos and his significant contribution to the venue’s success.
“Paul’s dedication to Willowbank Raceway has been nothing short of outstanding; he has unselfishly devoted countless hours to the track and worked tirelessly over many years all to benefit our sport and the Ipswich community,” Wedlock said.
“His commitment has not only been outstanding, but also inspiring for others following in his footsteps. The Willowbank Raceway board will be forever grateful for Paul’s exceptional service and we say ‘Thank you’. On a personal note, I will forever be grateful for the friendship that Paul and I have developed during our time together on the board. I know Paul is not lost to the sport and will continue to have a meaningful impact on the sport moving forward.”
Casos said he will continue to offer to work as a volunteer at Willowbank and intends to remain involved in the sport as a director of Australian Professional Drag Racing (APDR).
“Drag racing has an incredibly bright future and I thoroughly enjoy playing a role on a national level, helping steer the sport in the right direction,” Casos said.
“I also intend to continuing working with the Ipswich City Council in helping it with plans to evolve and improve the Willowbank motorsport precinct.”