Who We Are. Where We Came From. Where We Are Going.
Cyber Thunder Racing League was first founded in April 2001 by Mike Rose, WildWilly, who was tired of racing on the open Papyrus servers and wanted to spice things up. He began recruiting people as he was racing on the servers and the maiden voyage of (what then wasn't even called) Cyber Thunder Racing League set sail with a green flag with just 6 drivers present on April 29th, 2001.
The league quickly grew from 1 series to 2 as the first season came to a close. A Sunday night IROC division was created to fill the gap in between seasons in the Cyber Thunder Racing League calendar. The idea was one you would expect of an IROC series. Leveled playing fields, fixed setups, and only a driver's skill, and maybe a little luck, would determine the race.
Somewhere along the lines, a third series was quickly created - which was the "Dega/Tona Division" (they had shorter series names than we do now) which quickly became a popular series.
By 2003, the league had really taken off as the popularity of NR2003 was overwhelming in the
sim racing world at the time, with the peak of the NR2003 Cyber Thunder hosting racing 5 nights a week eventually.
The league ran strong - hosting several special events, multi league challenges over the next few years. I (Tom) became a driver of Cyber Thunder (NR2003) in 2008 after Jay Morris invited me to join the league. I had never run an online race on anything other than a Playstation 2 (yes, PS2) at the time and I remember...having my fair share of troubles adapting. I was racing on my mom's computer which pulled a whopping 27 or 28 frames with a $40 Logitech Driving Force GT Pro - if I was lucky I'd hit 30 FPS here and there.
Fast forward a few years, 2008, 2009 or so - and the new player in town is a thing called iRacing. Well, FIRST, actually. Slowly people began migrating over there and myself, Buddy Taylor, Michael Bergh, Dale Lee, and Kipling Clark, Shannon Gray and Rich Moore were the remaining 7 drivers that actively competed at the NR2003 Cyber on a regular basis. We made the decision to shut down the league, which we thought would be permanently, on June 6th, 2011.
BubbaSharpe leads the pack at MIchigan at an NR2003 race.
A Cyber Thunder Render - 2003
Jay Morris' #60 Alltel for the Friday Night Thunder Series.
Greg Percifield's #6 Dickens Cider Chevrolet
A screenshot of the cyberthunder.net website from December 31st, 2010. Most links are broken here, unfortunately.
Let's fast forward 2,747 days. Two thousand, seven hundred and forty seven days.
On December 18th, 2018 - Cyber was brought back from the dead. Something very few leagues do, and those that try, often fail.
Cyber Thunder Racing League kicked off it's iRacing debut with 25 drivers for our Thursday Night Thunder Championship Series Daytona Shootout. Since then, we've grown from one night of racing a week to 3 series that continuously post solid numbers and great competition.
And while I would be here for days extending gratitude to all the drivers that have helped in some way shape or form - help grow Cyber - I would be completely amiss if I skipped over a guy named Dave Paton. Dave has had his hand in almost everything that Cyber has done - and has been a huge part of our success.
For those of you that may be considering Cyber Thunder as your home league, or just a fun place to race - I hope this gives some sort of insight as to where we are - where we came from - and where we are going. I hope that you also realize, that if you decide to register to run with us - you're not just a driver here. You're part of our family. We've always been a place to welcome everybody - regardless of skill level and we have 3 series of which cover our Pro Drivers, our "Rookie Development Series" and our public series.
Schultz-BAMF #73 Ford Fusion
Rich-Outlaws #1 Chevrolet Silverado