MICHAEL D'ORLANDO SHOWS SPEED AT NEW CASTLE MOTORSPORTS PARK
September 28, 2011
After making the switch to a new team and new chassis earlier this season, New Yorker Michael d'Orlando has shown nothing but improvement as he continues to race in some of North America's top karting series. The past two weeks the young driver could be seen at the New Castle Motorsports Park (NCMP) facility in New Castle, Indiana where he competed in both the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer's Cup and Rotax Pan American Challenge finale with his J3 Competition prepared Kosmic Kart.
First on the docket was the WKA action where d'Orlando would do battle in the Cadet Junior Sportsman division. After successfully completing Friday's testing, Michael was back at the track early Saturday morning for his qualifying effort. In a strong field with over thirty competitors, d'Orlando qualified an impressive ninth and would line up inside row five for the start of the prefinal.
Disaster would strike at the first attempted start as d'Orlando would be hit by a fellow driver causing him to spin into the infield and retire from the race. Disappointed with the outcome and his 27th place starting spot for the main event, d'Orlando sliced and diced his way through the field to score a solid 13th place result and would now shift his focus to Sunday's competition.
With a few more entries competing on Sunday, the Cadet Junior Sportsman category would have nearly 35 competitors for the final WKA event of the season. Racing at a track that requires a good kart setup and drafting experience, the single kart qualifying effort by d'Orlando would land him the 18th place starting spot for the prefinal. Looking to improve throughout the day, d'Orlando crossed the stripe in the 14th position in the heat race and narrowly missed the top ten with an 11th place result in the main event.
In only his third Cadet Junior Sportsman race and as the youngest driver of all the kids ahead of him on both race days, Michael d'Orlando proved that he will be a threat for victories in the years to come.
With only a few days off before the start of the Rotax Pan American Challenge Championship event, d'Orlando would hit the track on Thursday morning for unofficial practice. With qualifying taking place on Friday afternoon and then three heat races to follow on Saturday, everything would lead up towards ‘Championship Sunday' where class champions would be crowned.
After topping the charts in Friday morning's practice sessions and then qualifying in the eighth position, d'Orlando would be forced to start all three heat races from the tail of the field due to a post qualifying technical inspection infraction. With fifteen karts taking the green, d'Orlando would line up shotgun on the field, but with his consistency would move forward throughout the heats. Finishing seventh on track in heat one, the Kosmic driver was awarded a fourth place result due to driving infractions and technical disqualifications by fellow competitors. Heat two would see the young talent come home in the tenth position while in heat three, he would cross the stripe in P8. With his constant improvement in all three heat races, d'Orlando would line up for the prefinal on Championship Sunday on the outside of row two in the fourth position.
With rain forecasted for the final day of racing and ominous clouds moving into the area, a few of the Rotax Micro Max drivers and crew took a gamble on tire choice. With most of the field utilizing the dry racing tire including d'Orlando, rain moved into the area just before the halfway point making it a difficult race for the youngest competitors in the series. When the dust had finally settled, d'Orlando would come home in the 12th position.
As rain continued throughout the day, d'Orlando was excited about his chances in the main event. Starting in the sixth row would not help the J3 Competition driver's chances at victory, but a rain racing learning experience would soon be forthcoming. Moving into the top ten at the drop of the green flag, d'Orlando looked like he would be one of the drivers to beat as he started his march towards the front of the field. With tricky conditions plaguing all drivers, d'Orlando would be involved in a four kart incident early in the final that was no fault of his own.
Spiraling down the running order, d'Orlando got himself back on the racing surface and throughout the final was one of the quickest karts on the track. Topping the time charts on most of the laps by nearly a second over his closest competitor, d'Orlando would be pipped for the fastest lap of the race on the final circuit. Despite the incident in the early stages and starting in the 12th position, d'Orlando drove to an impressive eighth place result.
Back home in New York, Michael's younger brother Nicholas has recently returned to the track at a local level. After taking a year off from the karting scene, the youngest d'Orlando is back behind the wheel to get reacquainted with his Micro Max machine under the direction of J3 Competition.
DRC Inc. and Michael d'Orlando would like to thank Justin Stefani and everyone at J3 Competition, Kosmic Karts and tuner Blake Wankowski, for the hard work and results from the past two weeks of racing. Also, a big thanks to Doug Fleming of Fleming Race Engines for the awesome power during WKA competition.
DRC Inc. drivers Michael and Nicholas d'Orlando will have a busy few weeks ahead of them as both drivers will continue to see action behind the wheel. While Nicholas will compete in Northeast Rotax Regional Series action, Michael will travel to South Garda, Italy to compete in the ROK World Cup in just over two weeks time, as well as the Superkarts USA (SKUSA)SuperNationals in Las Vegas in November, both in the Mini Rok divisions.
Stay tuned for more exciting news coming from DRC Inc. including the launch of a new website designed by Autosports Media Group. Be sure to follow Michael and Nicholas on Facebook to stay up to date on news, information, photos and results.
For more information and sponsorship opportunities on DRC Inc., Michael and Nicholas d'Orlando, please contact Sherri or Michael d'Orlando via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Press Release information, contact Mike Maurini at Race Tech Development at email@example.com