Steve Saleen Wins Latest Race- Driving the New S1
50 Years Ago, Saleen Entered and Won His First Race Driving a Mustang
Steve Saleen, founder of Saleen Automotive, wins at the Sovren Historics in a Saleen S1. Saleen founded the Southern California vehicle manufacturing company in 1983 and built a brand name for himself based on his transformation of the Ford Mustang. Saleen would go on to produce his own automobiles, and his mid-engine S1 is the latest in his line-up of Saleen Original vehicles.
“I was invited as the guest celebrity to the Sovern Historics at Pacific Raceways, but had no intention of actually racing,” said Saleen. “We brought an S1 racecar to the track to give ride-along charity laps, with all proceeds going toward XXX charity. After seeing the S1 on the track, the race organizers asked if I’d like to compete in their premiere Large Bore class that consists of the higher horsepower cars and I said sure.”
The competition in this class consisted of a combination of vintage race cars and the latest vehicles, including a current generation GT4 Mustang. This Mustang was built specifically for racing by Multimatic and piloted by the track hot-shoe instructor, Rob Sholl. The S1 with Steve Saleen behind the wheel beat the GT4 Mustang, and also set the fastest lap of the day.
Steve is part of exclusive league of automotive icons that actually races his own designs. Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren, and Jim Hall all drove their own purpose-built race cars, but Saleen is the only who has done this with a race car based off his own street car design.
Powered by a 450hp turbo-charged, 2.2L, 4 cylinder, and weighing only 2700lbs, the S1 was designed as a “True Driver’s Vehicle.” It combines state of the art engineering, aerodynamics, and a mid-engine platform, all wrapped in a sexy body that will go head to head with Porsche, Ferrari, and other premium marques.
Racing the S1 supports Saleen’s mantra of “Race Proven Performance for the Street” as it enters its final phases of testing and development. To ensure the S1 passes full certification and enters production, Saleen Automotive is currently in a stock offering to the general public.
Greg Stacy – Saleen (gregS@saleen.com)