John Parker - Pilot
Three-time Formula One Champion, John Parker, has dedicated his life to air racing, with the indulgent support of his wife Jan. They make their home together in Reno, Nevada.
After John was placed on reserve status from the Air Force in 1965 he joined American Airlines. Soon John found himself building engines for Formula One race teams, working as a mechanic at the air races, and assisting racers as a "Speed Merchant". John's passion for air racing quickly turned into a business, and in 1967 John founded American Air Racing.
Winning his first Reno Formula One Championship in 1977, John continued to add to his trophy case with Championship victories in 1978 and 1980. His scratch-built Formula One racer, American Air Racing Special, now resides in the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. John placed second in the original CAFE 250 and won the CAFE 400 in the twin-engine division in 1983. In 1988 John was the third person to enter a scratch-built aircraft in the Unlimited Division at Reno.
John placed fourth in the inaugural Sport Division Gold final at Reno in 1998 in his kit-built Glasair, race 300. The past years have seen John campaign his Thunder Mustang, Blue Thunder, in a relentless search for increased performance. With John at the controls, Blue Thunder captured second place in the Sport Division Gold final in its first year of racing. John continues to set and achieve amazing goals and air speed records with Blue Thunder. When asked how he got starting in flying, he laughs and says he was born with 1000 hours.
From a humble beginning, John has become an air racing icon, but he still finds time to empty and clean his own Thunder Mug. For John Parker, air racing is not a sport--it is a way of life.
John McCartney - Director of Operations
John McCartney has functioned in a support role for Blue Thunder Air Racing for the last five years. As one of the managing members of the Thunder Builders Group, a Thunder Mustang owner and builder; John feels like part of the family. He helps out with anything that needs helping with and makes sure Jan keeps the cocktails cold after the races!! When John completes his Thunder Mustang, he plans to race it at Reno. John lives in Houston and when he’s not doing Thunder Mustang stuff, he is a Boeing 737 Captain for Continental Airlines.
Fred "T-6 Lover" Roscher - Chief Technologist
Fred Roscher is one of those rare people that sees a need and works to fulfill it. Fred doesn't wait to be told what to do he jumps right in. His level of commitment and involvement is simply inspirational and something the rest of the team strives to match.
Fred is building his own Thunder Mustang and plans to race it at Reno, albeit behind Blue Thunder!
Bill (W.R.) Pearce - Mechanical Mastermind / Thunder Chef
If one can ever be called a mechanical genius, it's Bill Pearce. Repair, restore, rebuild, or resurrect from the dead, it's never a problem for him. If ever you were stranded on a deserted island, you would want Bill by your side. Well, this is assuming you wanted to get off the island. If you wanted to stay, than there are many other choices that would be far superior. But we are glad to have him on our team, and very glad it's not a deserted island.
Bill "Nice Bill" Pearce - Business Manager / Photographer
Bill Pearce has raced just about everything that he could move. Of course, most of the time his opponents did not know there was a race. His wife reluctantly supports his aviation obsession. Although she claims that he has brain washed their daughters to run outside and look into the sky anytime they hear the harmonic hum of an aircraft engine; the little girls do enjoy it.
We are really not sure what to call Bill; in fact we're not entirely sure what he does. Of the many titles that Bill has had over the years the one that has not been self-appointed is Business Manager. What really counts is whatever he does is done right.
Michael Cummings - Mechanic
Mike has been a Blue Crew member for over eight years now; bringing to the team over 25 years of mechanical knowledge and experience. He spent 4 years in the Air Force as an A-10 mechanic. In addition to his great mechanical skills, Mike has been helpful bringing in valued sponsors.
He also owns and operates Mike's Automotive in the North Reno area. Please call Mike for all your automotive needs at 775- 972 - 8863.
Jan Parker - Chief Financial Officer
Jan Parker is not only John's wonderful wife, she is also the keystone of Blue Thunder Air Racing. Having retired from American Airlines after 37 years as a Flight Attendant, Jan is qualified for acting as hostess for Blue Thunder racing events and keeps us all seated until at the gate. Jan provides the team with inspiration, support, and encouragement. Not only is Jan one of the smartest people on the team, she is also one of the funniest. Simply put, without Jan, there would be no Blue Thunder Air Racing.
Did we mention that she writes the checks?