Michael Salven has called time on his World Championship racing career, one of nitro onroad racing’s best known figures made the announcement that having made his World Championship debut in California in 1987, that the 22nd running of the IFMAR 1:8 Worlds here in Fontana, California was the right time to take a step back from racing. The 58 year-old German, who has enjoyed all of his professional career with Serpent, a company which was instrumental in the early development of the class, Salven bowed out of the Worlds competition here this morning at Steel City RC Speedway when he failed to finish the 1/16th finals. Asked about his decision, he said, ‘The Pro guys turn up with everything sorted. I turned up here with three engines that still needed to be run in and it turned out none of them are very good. I will still race, I probably have a few more Euros in me, but its important I race because as the designer of our cars I need to know what’s going on’.
Reflecting on his career, he said, the first WC I did was 1987 at Ranch Pit Shop which was owned by Gil Losi, it’s gone now, but I am told it’s only about 30-minutes from here. It was actually a shitty event for me, and this one was even worse, but I had a few good ones in between’. Only missing one World Championship over the 32-years, Brazil in 2015, he said, ‘Phuket in Thailand (1995) was really good and the race in Mexico (1997) was amazing. I TQ’d both of those races but some stupid guy called Collari was there which meant I never won’ – joking about the 9-time World Champion. Joining Serpent as designer in 1991 it is there that Red RC’s own personal relationship with Salven began with our founder Eoghain O’Briain working alongside him and even having the pleasure of being his pitman on the odd occasion. We wish Michael well as he steps back from World Championship competition but look forward to meeting him in the pits at future Worlds and who knows, maybe in the future his son’s name might appear on a World Championships entry list.