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Competition changes likely coming for IndyCar, per Walker

Nov 16, 2013, 12:36 PM EDT

DerrickWalker2

There’s been a large contingent of IndyCar personnel on the ground here at Circuit of the Americas this weekend, whether drivers or competition personnel. Chief among them is the series’ president of competition and operations, Derrick Walker.

Walker is here, working with FIA officials in meetings regarding potential safety and other competition-related improvements that could come to IndyCar in 2014.

Additionally, he confirmed that changes are likely coming to IndyCar’s competition personnel.

“It’s not what you think, though,” he noted. “Frankly we need a bigger staff on the competition side and we need to have the capital investment to be able to do that. We’re moving in that direction.”

A source close to the situation has confirmed the potential addition of at least one known IndyCar entity for the competition department.

Walker said he is still in the midst of what he considered a “steep learning curve” with IndyCar, from the managerial side.

What that does mean is, contrary to earlier reports, that IndyCar will be his first preference in 2014 and not the Falken Tire-backed Porsche sports car team that competes in the merged TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Walker explained why the confusion existed.

“For 2013 I had the commitment to Falken, and because I came into IndyCar midseason, any conflicts meant that I would tend to those Falken responsibilities first. I had to,” Walker said. “I can be at the non-conflicting (sports car) rounds, but IndyCar will be first.”

The Falken TUDOR team will still be run out of the Walker Racing shop in Indianapolis with the same crew. That team is set to miss the first race of the 2014 season as it takes delivery and assembles its new 991-coded Porsche 911 RSR.

  1. worknman24hours - Nov 16, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Well, look, Indycar needs to be told like a story every race with a start- a middle and an ending.

    Don’t do what F1 is doing with their commercial tv coverage and just open into qualifying and the races with zero buildup.

    There should always be a say,ten minute build up to the actual event starting and a ten minute ending so the fans can actually learn to appreciate all the work it takes to put on any racing event.

    When you just show the race and drop it with a graphics display of the winners and go to the next programming -that positively cheapens the image of your product—– like the half hour Viagra commercial after the race was so important we had to drop the race coverage to get to it.

    Show the Indycar races on the same timeslot every Sunday too.

    At least try to get the message out there is a Indycar race on and at what time it’s on on Sunday.

    You don’t have to buy expensive tv time either to advertise race start times..

    Radio air time is pretty cheap for thirty second ads during the work week on news radio channels and you could make the ads stand out by being funny or bravado or something like that.

    And don’t show the races on a dedicated cable only channel either.

    You want to reach out to the fans, not put a fence between them and your teams and drivers.

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