So much for homecomings

Posted by Iannucci | 3/09/2008 | 7 comments »
Bookmark and Share

Don't etch this in stone yet, but PaddockTalk (which is rarely linked at My Name Is IRL because of all the silly pop-ups on that slow-loading dog of a site) has quotes from former IRL owner and more recently CCWS owner Derrick Walker saying his team is NOT going to be re-joining the IndyCar series.

"It's a great pity that the team has had to abandon our IndyCar program. So much work by so many has gone into the Team Australia program over the last three and a half years, but now it will remain unfinished business for us. I wish my co-partner well with his new venture and so to Will (Power) and Simon (Pagenaud) and all the employees, associates and fans who have given me the opportunity. Many thanks," said Walker Racing Owner, Derrick Walker.

(MORE from PaddockTalk)
Note there is currently no talk of this sort on the Walker Racing site - quite the opposite actually with the want ads. But if the quotes are real then this completely sucks, if for no other reason than the fact Walker was recently the most publicly vocal Champ Car owner who was urging bimergifabsorbmacation of the two series. Walker may return someday, but for now it's sad to see to see this kind of failure for someone who obviously wanted to be back in the series.

And wither Willpower?

As of right now, that $10 million purchase by Mr George plus the free goodie bags has exactly three additional entries. Yee-haw.

UPDATE: I can't find the link but do you remember someone saying the Team Australia sponsorship would be secured so long as the Surfer's PAradise race down under was included in the IR docket? Me too, especially since the race was recently secured through the end of the century (approximately). Apparently that was true, as the braintrust at TSO says Walker's Team Australia sponsorship may still be intact - just elsewhere.

Walker has been unable to find sufficient sponsorship and his association with Craig Gore and Team Australia is ending. Rumors have said the Team Australia deal will move to KV Racing, so don't be too surprised if Will Power winds up over there in the near future.
This may explain why KV hasn't announced their driver lineup yet, and it may also get Kevin Kalkhoven off Derrick Walker's Christmas Card list for a very long time.

UPDATE 2: Walker Racing has the offical announcement, while Is It May Yet? and Up In the Marbles discuss the reality of the high cost of racing.

I don't know about car counts, but IndyCar blog counts are definitely on the uptick.

7 comments

  1. Anonymous // March 09, 2008 3:51 PM  

    It is really a shame to see Walker not make the bell. It makes you wonder just how many of the CCWS teams were being propped up with "Kevin bucks".

  2. Tabernerus // March 09, 2008 4:04 PM  

    Crud. Crud crud crud. Well, there's certainly going to be a rough year or so while this stuff all shakes out. I don't see Walker staying out for good, though, even if he can't go right now. It may just mean that he doesn't make the Homestead-Miami race. For a while now, the chatter has been that the Milwaukee grid would be the biggest test of success. By then, some teams that start the season will likely have dropped out, while some that couldn't get ready by Miami will have come onboard, and the one-off Indy entries will have done their thing and headed home. Milwaukee is, in some ways, the first race of the unified series, I think.

  3. erika // March 09, 2008 5:16 PM  

    This unfortunate news was confirmed on this evening's Speed Report.

  4. Zappatista // March 10, 2008 7:40 AM  

    Well.....I spoke to my "source" who was once with one team, and now another...BUT it will be confirmed that KV racing now has the Aussie $$ and Mr. Power in their stable. You would think that RP would be willing to help Mr. Walker out a little. You know find a sponsor, or something!

    At any rate, the team that has chosen to not "support" the league is probably going to be a contracted gun, to help other teams, maybe like PDM is doing in the IPS.

    I will keep my ear down...

  5. Tabernerus // March 10, 2008 10:25 AM  

    Interesting article at Autoweek about the Alantic Series. Sierra Sierra, last seen winning the title with Matos, is pulling out, citing an uncertain future for the series, and (you guessed it) difficuly finding sponsorship given that uncertainty. No mention of them jumping to IPS, but really, why not, at this point. They're fielding a car for Jonathan Bomarito, the Phil Giebler of Atlantics. Also, here's a random unsubstantiated thought. Walker has the Mansell brothers driving for him in Atlantics. Why not go IPS for a year, and see what happens for 2009. Unless Walker wants to go on vacation for a year, he's gonna race somewhere, right? If Atlantics is a sinking ship, why not go IPS, and at least develop his network of connections within the IRL context? It also would help him put together a partial effort, say Indy, Edmonton, and Chicagoland.

  6. Puretone Audio // March 10, 2008 4:31 PM  

    Unfortunately, it seems the budgetary restrictions of running a 19-race (!!!) schedule seem to be rearing their ugly head.

    Also, Craig "the check's in the mail, mate" Gore and Kevin "the checks are in the mail, mate" Kalkhoven is a match made somewhere south of heaven.

  7. MeganfromIndy // March 11, 2008 11:12 PM  

    I'm hearing Fisher rumors involved with Walker racing, hmmmmmm.