January 10, 2012

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Heading to the fast Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), Michael and Nicholas d'Orlando were looking to get their 2012 karting season started. While Michael would compete for the second consecutive year at the Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour (FWT), younger brother Nicholas would make his series debut as both would see action on their J3 Competition prepared Kosmic in the Vortex Mini Rok TaG Cadet division.

A stout field of 35 drivers would make up the field for round one, which would include top competitors such as previous Florida Winter Tour & Vortex Mini Rok World champions. Looking to keep pace and battle for solid results, Michael would post the fourth quickest time in Saturday morning warm-up and an impressive seventh place result in qualifying a few hours later.

Looking to make headway in the pre final, Michael would be involved in a first corner incident that would see him relegated down the running order. With a severely damaged kart, Michael would muster a 30th place result and a disappointing starting position for the main event. When the green flag flew for the final on Saturday afternoon, Michael was on a tear. Slicing and dicing his way through the field, the young talent was mid pack by the third corner and continued his march forward to cross the stripe with an impressive 22 position gain for the eighth position.

Younger brother Nicholas would make his FWT TaG Cadet debut and would look to follow in the footsteps of his older brother. In his first ever event in the Mini Rok and only his second time aboard a Kosmic chassis, Nicholas would qualify in the 27th position and progress forward in the pre final to finish 24th. With a goal to gain a few more positions in the final, Nicholas? day ended early as first lap incident forced him to take evasive action into the barriers ending his race before it even started.

Sunday would prove to be a better day for both drivers as Michael would qualify outside row three in the sixth position, while Nicholas would finish his session in 31st. Determined to score his best career result at the FWT, Michael drove forward in the pre final to finish fifth but would receive a start line infraction penalty and eventually be classified in seventh. Starting inside row four for the main event.

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Hanging with the lead draft early, Michael would be running in the seventh position before a red flag was displayed for a serious incident in the final corner. After a thirty-minute delay, the race was eventually restarted with only eight laps remaining and once again, a train of eight karts pulled away from the rest of the field. After working his way to the fourth position, and leading the chase pack for the next few laps, Michael kept his composure as the drafting karts behind him moved in front of him at the end of the straight away on the final lap. Now running in P7 entering the final complex of corners, Michael latched onto the trail of karts throughout the infield never losing ground, and set up wide on entry into the final turn. As competitors in front of him made contact, Michael quickly made a cross over move to avoid the incident and scurried around the mess to claim the fourth position at the checkered flag, and scored his best result ever in Florida Winter Tour competition.

After qualifying 31st, Nicholas drove forward ten positions in the pre final to claim the 21st spot. . In the main event, Nicholas dropped back to claim a 24th place result but showed great improvement in both speed and race craft as the weekend went on. It was a great weekend for the young talent after taking most of the 2011 season off.

Both Michael and Nicholas would like to thank Chris Wehrheim and Adam Johnson for all their hard work and driver coaching throughout the weekend, as well as Justin Stefani and everyone at J3 Competition.

Both drivers will see action next weekend at the Rotax round of the Florida Winter Tour in the Micro Max division. This will be Nicholas? first appearance and Michael returns for his 3rd consecutive year in this event.

Over the Christmas break, Michael was seen in action at the World Karting Association Manufacturer?s Cup event at the famed Daytona International Speedway. Competing in the Cadet Junior Sportsman category, Michael gave an impressive performance amongst the older competition to claim 17th and 11th place results in a field of more than 35 drivers. Having missed the majority of the one and only test day due to travel delays, Michael & the entire DRC Inc team are extremely pleased with his performance. Special thanks to Bob Williams & Justin Stefani of J3 Competition, and Doug Flemming of Flemming Engines for all their help for the week.

For more information on Michael or Nicholas d'Orlando, please visit Also, 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, please contact Sherri or Michael d'Orlando via e-mail at