Exploring what’s next for Derrick Walker as he announces he’s leaving IndyCar

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LEXINGTON, Ohio – The task of figuring out “what’s next” is what’s next for Derrick Walker, after today’s news was announced that he is leaving INDYCAR at year’s end.

The first bit of news is that this news, while it was only announced today, has seemingly been in the works for weeks.

“I was probably intending to leave INDYCAR anyway,” Walker told MotorSportsTalk during a brief conversation Thursday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“Still, I have a lot of respect for the series and the people inside it, more than most, I would have to say.”

Walker, meanwhile, really has to focus on securing a program for his sports car team. For several years, Walker Racing has run and operated the Team Falken Tire team.

Falken has announced it is withdrawing from the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at year’s end, which leaves Walker’s sports car program high and dry.

As it stands, there’s nothing concrete for Walker’s team yet, but he is working diligently to ensure something materializes.

“We’re really pressing on that,” Walker said. “We have had some very interesting conversations.

“I was working hard before, and I’m even working harder now considering I don’t have a job by the end of the month.”

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.