“I have had the opportunity to participate in the business of professional racing my entire life, and I have gained valuable experience from many different angles,” Walker said. “Leading the operations and competition aspects of IndyCar is a perfect place to leverage my experiences and relationships to help ensure that IndyCar racing is exciting and engaging for our fans, that our drivers and owners are able to showcase their talents through our events, and that our technical partners are able to use our racing platform for innovation and development.”
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 Firestone Indy Lights director Anton “Tony” George Jr.
Walker, 68, comes to IndyCar after serving as general manager for Ed Carpenter Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series, leading the team to a victory last September at Auto Club Speedway in the team’s first season.
“While we will miss Derrick being a part of Ed Carpenter Racing, we are excited about his new opportunity to join the leadership team at IndyCar,” said team owner Ed Carpenter. “Derrick has done a phenomenal job for ECR. He really was the architect of our team, and helped us establish a very strong foundation that will continue to lead to future successes. I am confident that he will do an outstanding job at IndyCar. He will be an asset there that will also help the race teams within the series. Although we wish him well, we will enjoy our last month working together, and if all goes according to plan, we will drink milk together at the end of the month before he moves on to his new responsibilities.”
A native of Scotland, Walker brings more than 40 years of experience in many forms of racing to IndyCar, beginning as a mechanic and culminating in the creation and ownership of a successful racing team, Walker Motorsports, Ltd., since 1990. Over his career, Walker has worked with teams like Ferrari in sports car racing, Brabham and Penske Racing in Formula One, and Porsche and Penske Racing in Indy car. Walker spent 13 years with legendary Indianapolis 500 team owner Roger Penske as part of Penske Cars Ltd., which designed and manufactured race-winning Penske Indy cars in the United Kingdom, and also served as vice president of racing for Penske Racing.
Throughout Walker’s 19 years as a team owner, he fielded multi-car teams in 414 races in IndyCar, Firestone Indy Lights and Formula BMW, earning six victories and 16 poles with drivers such as Gil de Ferran, Scott Goodyear, Christian Fittipaldi, Sarah Fisher, Alex Tagliani, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Paul Tracy. The team made Indianapolis 500 history in 1991 by fielding an entry for Willy T. Ribbs, who became the first African-American to qualify for the race.