“John knows our program very well, and he’s been a crew chief before,” Porter said. “So when we had a need to fill one of our crew chief positions, we didn’t hesitate to ask John. His experience working with U-7 driver Jesse Robertson and U-5 crew chief Tom Anderson, too, was seen as valuable as we get ready for the 2015 season.”
Walcker has been deeply involved in unlimited hydroplane racing for more than a decade, working on Ed Cooper’s U-3, as co-owner and crew chief of the U-57 Miss Fedco in 2012-13, and with Team Porter Racing on the U-57 2010-11 and with the team working on both boats in 2014.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity to expand my role with the team,” Walcker said, while working in the Decatur shop this week to get the boat ready for the May 29 test session in the Tri-Cities. “Team Porter Racing is one of the premier organizations in the sport and Graham Trucking is an amazing sponsor. I couldn’t be happier to have accepted this assignment as crew chief of the U-7.”
As crew chief on the U-57 Miss Fedco in 2013, Walcker was directly involved with the mentoring of Jesse Robertson, who was qualified as an unlimited driver at Seafair that year. Robertson then went on to drive in a heat and the final at the Diamond Cup in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, where he finished fourth.
Robertson was named the new driver of the U-7 in February.
“Working with Jesse on the 57 was great,” Walcker said. “He pays attention to his crew chief and shares valuable information after his runs, as well. He is going to be an excellent addition to our team and we are excited about getting him on the water for some test laps in a couple of weeks.”
Walcker replaces Brooke Tyler IV as U-7 crew chief. Tyler recently decided to reduce his involvement on the team – which a year ago included countless hours each month during the offseason coordinating work that was happening in the shop, and making occasional trips to Decatur. Increasing responsibilities with the family business, Tyler Equipment, and spending more time with his family, were big reasons for his decision to step back. He crew with the team at the Tri-Cities test session and will travel to most of the races this season as well.
The U-7 qualified for every final heat in 2014, with driver Cal Phipps working with Tyler. The boat’s performance was solid and consistent all year long.
“Brooke’s work as U-7 crew chief was outstanding,” Porter said. “We understand and support his wishes to focus more of his offseason time with his family and we look forward to him continuing to be a big part of our team.”
ABOUT TEAM PORTER RACING
Over the last four seasons, Team Porter Racing has won 11 races, which is more than any other team in the sport over that same span. Team Porter Racing has also won five of the last six – and four in a row – at the Oryx Cup UIM World Championship in Doha, Qatar.
In each of the last two years, Team Porter Racing has won four races on the H1 Unlimited Series. Since joining the H1 Unlimited series in 2006, Team Porter Racing has won a total of 16 races, placing Porter among the most successful owners in the sport’s history.
More information about the team can be found at www.u1racing.com, or on Facebook and Twitter.