Derrick Walker's 43 years experience in motorsport makes him a perfect fit for INDYCAR's President of Operations and Competition.
"So we made the decision that we really want to strengthen this organization," said Hulman and Co. CEO Mark Miles. "It's a good organization, but we've got a lot to do, and we decided to bring on the strongest horse we can find to help us with our technical and operations and racing, our product, really, and then separately to find additional leadership to help us with our commercial activities for INDYCAR. We had a number of great candidates who are interested in the job. And Derrick was one of the first I spoke to. You can't read his résumé and talk to folks about his lifetime of experience without immediately having great respect for his journey in open-wheel racing from being a mechanic to owning a team and having enormous success all along the way."
"I am going to the dark side and happily so. It is a lot to learn," says Walker. "Fortunately there are a lot of good people at IndyCar that have been around a heck of a lot longer on this side of the fence than me. So I expect to be on a very steep learning curve and find my place in how to influence or how to help steer the governing body."
Walker's role will consist of communication of team owners and suppliers in the areas of:
• Cost management
• Enhancing innovation within the current technical platform and race formats
• Continuing to emphasize and develop safety initiatives
• Sustaining programs and avenues to develop drivers and suppliers for the IZOD IndyCar Series
• Developing plans for future technical platforms
Reporting directly to Walker will be Brian Barnhart, who will serve as senior vice president of operations; race director Beaux Barfield; vice president of technology Will Phillips; vice president of technology, timing and scoring Jon Koskey; director of grassroots initiatives Jason Penix; and Indy Lights director Anton "Tony" George Jr.
Walker's racing experience dates back to 1970 when he joined the Brabham Formula 1 team. He joined Roger Penske's Formula 1 outfit in 1976 and remained with Penske until 1989 working as not only President of Penske Cars Ltd., which designed Penske's Indy Car chassis throughout the 1980s-90s. Walker currently works as team manager for Ed Carpenter Racing, and he will leave his post there after the Indianapolis 500. he also works as team manager for Team Falken Tire in the American Le Mans Series, and according to Tony
Walker ran his own race team for 19 years starting in 1990, fielding cars for drivers such as Gil de Ferran, Scott Goodyear, Christian Fittipaldi, Sarah Fisher, Alex Tagliani, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Paul Tracy.