Marcus Thunder

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Marcus Thunder
Thunder Picture.png
Thunder at the 2013 British V-Prix
Nationality 23px-Flag of the United Kingdom.svg-1-.png British
Born Marcus Leo Thunder
13 July 1995 (age 21)
Southampton, England
Related to Kiara Thunder (sister)
IndyVirtual Series career
Debut season 2017
2017 team Formation Competition
2017 car number 13
Starts 10
Wins 2
Podiums 5
Points 327
Pole positions 1
Fastest laps 2
First race 2017 V-Prix of Florida
First win 2017 250 Miles of Daytona
Last win 2017 Race of India
Last race 2017 Course de France
IndyVirtual Triple Crown career
Participating
year(s)
2017
Team(s) Formation Competition
Best finish Japan 500: 11th (2017)
Monaco 250: 3rd (2017)
Laguna Seca: TBC
Previous series
2013-2016 Formula Virtual
Formula Virtual World Championship career
Active years 2013-2016
Team(s) Downton, DS Mathershaw
Races 61 (61 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 1
Podiums 3
Career points 207
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 1
First race 2013 United States V-Prix
First win 2015 Brazilian V-Prix
Last win 2015 Brazilian V-Prix
Last race 2016 Brazilian V-Prix
Best finish 7th (100 pts) in 2015

Marcus Leo Thunder (born 13 July 1995) is a British virtual racing driver driver who is currently competing in the 2017 IndyVirtual Series for Formation Competition.

He was the successful applicant of the Downton Young Driver Academy when it was first set up to find a test and reserve driver for the Downton team in their first season. This later became a race seat after regular driver Scott Parsons was injured. He scored his first podium in the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix while on loan at Mathershaw Technology, his first podium for Downton in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix and his first win for Downton in the 2015 Brazilian V-Prix, his 30th start in the series.

Personal life

Thunder was born in Southampton, Hampshire and is the older brother of Kiara Thunder, who is also a racing driver. Thunder's parents John and Molly are frequently seen supporting him at his races.

Thunder was the first product of the Downton Young Driver Academy and was about to embark on a degree in teaching when he got the call up to race for the team.

In his own time Thunder enjoys online gaming, swimming, reading, writing and karting.

Career

Formula Virtual

Downton (2013-Present)

2013

Thunder drove a Downton Virtual Grand Prix car for the first time during the Downton Young Driver Academy set-up test early in 2013. After setting the fastest time he was appointed as the official test and reserve driver for the Downton team.

During the build-up to the 2013 United States Grand Prix regular Downton driver Scott Parsons was involved in a rally accident that resulted in injuries ruling him out of the race. As reserve driver Thunder was handed the seat and made his racing début at just 18 years old. With no time to practice he qualified towards the back of the field, although only a few tenths off of team mate Kip Maxwell, and finished in 18th place, beating Romano Agostino.

Thunder was given some private testing in the car prior to the French Grand Prix and subsequently out-qualified new teammate Felix Beyer before bringing the car home in fourteenth place, ahead of five other drivers, all of whom had been racing since the start of the season. Thunder scored his first points with a ninth place finish in the next race in Germany before two twelfth place finishes and another solitary point in the Italian Grand Prix. Thunder was knocked out of the Chinese Grand Prix by Douglas Bacon and ended up with his first retirement however had impressively qualified the poorly performing Downton car in the midfield for every race since France while his array of teammates had struggled to get off the back two rows.

Following the Chinese Grand Prix Bradley Downton was contacted by Mathershaw Technology team principal Robert Mathershaw to request the services of Thunder for the Japanese Grand Prix after regular Mathershaw driver Karl Beckenbauer was handed a race ban. After agreeing a £1,000,000 fee, with possible bonuses and extra races depending on performance, Downton decided to allow Thunder the opportunity to drive the Mathershaw car. He immediately impressed with a top nine qualifying performance before finishing sixth.

As a result of his performance Thunder was handed the drive for the final two races and made good of his chance, scoring a debut podium in the proceeding Brazilian Grand Prix having started eighth on the grid. He then secured his best grid position to date in his career in the final round of the season with fourth and followed it up with another points finish in fifth, meaning he had beaten highly rated teammate Adrien Simon in two of the three races they'd done together. Overall Thunder finished eleventh in the Drivers' Championship despite only competing in ten of sixteen races.

2014

For 2014 Thunder continued with Downton, racing alongside reigning World Champion Nathaniel Powers following the latter's move from Franklin. In the season opening Australian Grand Prix Thunder out-qualified Powers by six tenths of a second securing seventh on the grid compared to Powers' thirteenth. In the race Thunder made use of other's incidents to bring his car home in fifth while his team mate retired. Thunder qualified fifth in Malaysia ahead of his team mate again, but finished behind him in seventh, while a mistake in qualifying in Bahrain left him nineteenth on the grid, and he ultimately retired with suspension failure.

Following a disappointing home race in Britain, Thunder returned to the points with tenth place in Canada, and repeated the result at the next race in the United States after overtaking Will Hoskins on the final lap and also setting the fastest lap for the first time in his career. After failing to score in Spain, Thunder once more returned to the points in the Portuguese Grand Prix, finishing eighth before two successive mechanical failures in France and Germany. Thunder returned to form in Austria, once more out-qualifying his team mate and finishing just behind him in the race in sixth place, but in Belgium he went one better, finishing fifth and beating Powers.

Downton endured a miserable Italian Grand Prix and Thunder only managed twenty-first, before an equally as miserable Chinese race where Thunder retired from a points position with suspension failure. Fortunes turned in the Japanese Grand Prix however, as Thunder picked up his first ever podium finish for Downton in third place. This was followed by seventh in Brazil and sixth in the final race of the season in Mexico.

2015

On 10 May 2014 it was confirmed Thunder would continue with Downton for the 2015 season. The entire team struggled in pre-season and Australia, but picked up in Malaysia as Thunder scored the first point of the season in tenth, despite an unscheduled pit stop. Post-qualifying for the third round in Brazil it was announced both Thunder and team mate Powers would stay at Downton until at least the end of 2017, which Thunder duly celebrated by snatching his - and the team's - first ever win in the series the very next day. Powers finished second to complete a memorable 1-2. Thunder scored consistent points in every race he finished thereafter, ending the year seventh in the championship on 100 points, ahead of team mate Powers.

Helmet

Thunder's helmet is primarily orange with a blue strip up the front. To the sides of his visor he has dark blue shapes with yellow thunderbolt's producing British flags. On top the British flag is prominently featured, along with his car number and name. His sister Kiara uses an identical helmet design, although with different colours, primarily pinks and purples.

Racing record

Career summary

Season Series Team Name Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
2013 Formula Virtual Orange Downton Pagani 7 0 0 0 0 3 11th
Barclays AMG Mathershaw Technology 3 0 0 0 1 33
2014 Formula Virtual Downton FV Team 17 0 0 1 1 69 9th
2015 Formula Virtual 16 1 0 0 1 100 7th
2016 Formula Virtual 18 0 0 0 0 2 20th
2017 Formula Virtual Reserve driver
IndyVirtual Formation Competition 10 2 1 2 5 327* 2nd*
IndyVirtual Triple Crown 2 0 0 0 1 110* 4th*

* Season in progress.

Complete Formula Virtual results

(results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 WDC Points
2013 Orange Downton Pagani Downton BD01 Pagani PF12013 AUS
MAL
BHR
GBR
ESP
CAN
USA
18
FRA
14
GER
9
AUT
12
BEL
12
ITA
10
CHN
Ret
11th 36
Barclays AMG Mathershaw
Technology
Mathershaw
RJM-001
Mercedes FO 108Z JPN
6
BRA
3
MEX
5
2014 Downton FV Team Downton BD02 Downton DS-2014 AUS
5
MAL
7
BHR
Ret
GBR
17
CAN
10
USA
10
ESP
12
POR
8
FRA
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
6
BEL
5
ITA
21
CHN
Ret
JPN
3
BRA
7
MEX
6
9th 69
2015 Downton FV Team Downton BD03 Downton DS-2015 AUS
11
MAL
10
BRA
1
RSA
6
ESP
6
POR
9
FRA
6
GBR
5
CAN
7
USA
4
GER
Ret
BEL
6
ITA
7
MEX
9
CHN
Ret
JPN
8
7th 100
2016 Downton FV Team Downton BD04 Downton DS-2016 AUS
18
MAL
17
CHN
20
JPN
21
FRA
20
ESP
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
NED
14
BEL
9
ITA
16
TUR
15
BHR
13
CAN
24
USA
14
MEX
18
POR
17
BRA
13
20th 2

IndyVirtual Triple Crown results

Year Team Manufacturer JPN MON CAL Pos. Points
Q R Q R Q R
2017 Formation Competition Jaguar 20 11 7 3 4th* 110*

* Season in progress.

Complete IndyVirtual results

(results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap; results with * indicate most laps led)

Year Team Manufacturer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 WDC Points
2017 Formation Competition Jaguar FLO*
16
DAY
1
JPN
11
SUR
2
IND*
1
CAN
Ret
SEB
Ret
INDY
4
MON
3
FRA
2
GBR
GER
RSA
NYC
LBH
CAL
AUS
MAC
2nd* 327*

* Season in progress.