IndyCar’s president of operations and competition, Derrick Walker (LEFT, photo by LAT), spent an hour answering questions from IndyCar fans via his Twitter handle, @DJWIndyCar. This is what was said
(spelling corrections and clarifications have been made Ed.)
@Nevade Since the Indy 500 is a special race, will you allow Honda and Chevy to make a one-off engine with more horsepower?
@DJWIndyCar Honda and Chevy don’t need too much more horsepower. The current engines are more than capable of making enough horsepower and they are regulated by the turbo boost.
@jpolarization What’s being done to increase IndyCar oval races? Oval fans want more.
@DJWIndyCar Good question… Ovals are important to IndyCar and always have been and will continue to be so. Adding more ovals is only a function of a track being available on the dates and the cost of putting on a race…The biggest thing is to get the fans to come to those events. If the fans come, you can be certain we will be there.
@KeyWestChris A lot of the drivers want more power on ovals. That will affect engine life, however. Where are you on this subject?
@DJWIndyCar I don’t think we need too much more power on the ovals, but on road courses having more power would be my preference. For the ovals we have enough power for now.
@MDavidSchafer Is there any chance we’ll see some new venues on the schedule other than the Indy road course?
@DJWIndyCar No 2014 is a transition year. I can see quite a few possibilities in 2015 but for now I don’t anticipate any new events for ’14.
@Dlite_47 With twin turbos in 2014, will the cars still have the air intakes on the chassis?
@DJWIndyCar Yes they will. 2015 is the big change for aero kits and that’s when you will see air intakes being quite different.
@Bethlantz When will Road America, Cleveland, Portland, Mexico City and Phoenix return?
@DJWIndyCar I don’t know, quite honestly…I wish all of them could…It’s a fine balance between dates, money and how many fans come.
@_GiuCanbera IndyKART (go karts) Challenge for offseason. Better and cheaper than global races: 10 different races on Wednesdays. Reality show format. Good?
@DJWIndyCar Maybe but they don’t pay as much and the teams need income so an off-season international schedule is where we are heading…
@Maxtactx Will IndyCar adopt a new design like the DeltaWing Group’s? Many casual and non-fans see [U.S.] open wheel and F1 interchangeably.
@DJWIndyCar In a perfect world we would like to see IndyCar have multiple designs and lots of variety as it used to have at one time, but in today’s world it’s often driven by economics and availability…For now, we’ll stay with the same formula design…But 2020 Who knows?
@Dlite_47 With plans to set a new track record at @IMS, does this mean higher hp and more innovation by the individual teams?
@DJWIndyCar I don’t think there is a plan for new track records, but I think the longer the car continues in its current format, the teams will improve their cars and will make them faster and the engine improvements will always make more power…By keeping the rules stable, the speeds will increase.
@twblackb Thoughts on external complaining by drivers to media. Bad for IndyCar’s image?
@DJWIndyCar Personally I think we should be free to say whatever we think but unfortunately the decision of what is right and what is wrong isn’t necessarily my personal opinion…I prefer the drivers come to me to complain rather than tell all of the fans that Race Control is a bunch of muppets.
@RumJumbie Do you know how the teams feel about IndyCar not having a media director for a year now? Media being the food for sponsors
@DJWIndyCar The teams are aware that IndyCar is rebuilding all of front office, media included, so I think the teams understand what’s going on and IndyCar is trying to do it as quick as they can.
@PaulJourdain Will Mexico be back in the future?
@DJWIndyCar Not in the immediate future, but it is a place of high interest for us to be racing in Mexico…you can never say never. We had some great races in Mexico and had a strong fan base there and I think we definitely need to get back.
@ILovedCART Would an international series possibly have new TV partners?
@ILovedCART Can the DW12 exhaust note be modified without affecting performance? F1 and CART cars SOUND(ED) fast.
@DJWIndyCar I’m told that it’s difficult to change the sound by the exhaust itself. The biggest difference in the note of the IndyCar will come from the engine configuration and the rpm…older Indy cars were V8 and we had higher rpm which gave them a different sound.
@MDavidSchafer Has a date for Brazil been found yet?
@DJWIndyCar We have a date for Brazil but there appear to be some issues in Brazil that are currently being resolved which may change the date. As of now, it’s as advertised.
@isitmayyet Can you elaborate on how an international series makes money and doesn’t cost more money? I don’t see it.
@DJWIndyCar Compared with some series in the world, ours is cheaper and the promoter pays for the team travel and the fee to IndyCar which the teams share in… Our racing is a relatively cheap deal for the value.
@KeyWestChris Next year at the end of the 2014 season there will be a six-month layover until 2015. No off-season series. Employee layoffs?
@DJWIndyCar I hope not.
@simverdi Time for fresh thinking in audio coverage? Sports car racing has got this right in recent years, whereas the Indy format is tired.
@DJWIndyCar You got my vote.
@ILovedCART Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions today. I appreciate what you’re doing for my favorite sport.
@DJWIndyCar Thank you and I hope you and all of your racing buddies continue to support IndyCar. Only with the support of the fans are we able to make IndyCar better.
@AaronM1978 Can you give teams the higher horsepower they get for a road course and make them manage durability so they make the 500 miles?
@DJWIndyCar Possibly yes, but for 2014 we have no plans to do so…
@_GiuCanbera What’s the current situation with IZOD? Any possibilities on a new title sponsor for 2014?
@DJWIndyCar Working hard on it
@DJWIndyCar Thanks for the questions.