Walker Ready For New IndyCar Challenge
Walker plans to get an understanding for the day-to-day operations of the sanctioning body. Once he has done that, he plans to start tackling long-term issues surrounding the series.
“My first job will be to understand what we’ve currently got and how it functions from a day-to-day, and get into the long-term stuff if and when it comes up,” Walker said. “Certainly as far as I’m concerned, but my personal opinion is IndyCar is about competition. So unless there’s a very good reason not to have more manufacturers or more of everything that helps make competition happen, I think that would be missing the point. That’s the history of Indy car, and the sooner we can get more guys in battling it out there, the sooner the fans are going to be interested in what we’re doing. The fans come, the companies come, and everybody hopefully enjoys what we do and makes money doing it.
“Indianapolis and the Indy cars were and should be about innovation. The thing that’s happened over the years, if you look at the evolution of racing, we got very smart, we got very good at doing the things, and we made cars better and better and we went faster and faster. One day, you know, there were less people in the stands for whatever reasons, and the cost of racing became a major talking point. A major concern is survival and the cost. So it’s a delicate balance between innovation, the speed, the cost of racing. Any number of factors that you’ve got to take into account.
“But I think if you look at what our goal has to be or should be, is to open up that door just enough to allow it to grow and improve and innovate, but yet keep it in a measurable amount, not only the teams but the manufacturers, every supplier that is involved in our business. It doesn’t price them out of the market — we can’t have in the U.S., maybe in other parts of the world it works — but we can’t have such a super-expensive series that the fans can’t afford to come along and buy a ticket. And we’re racing in front of, you know, lots and lots of people that don’t turn up.
“So getting that balance I think is going to be key.”