December 11, 2013

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"Coast-to-coast, Rotax to Mini Rok"

Capping of the 2013 karting season, the dĀfOrlando duo of Michael and Nicholas would join their Team Koene USA squad at the season's two largest events. First taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana, the young up-and-coming drivers would take part in the Rotax Micro & Mini Invitational during the annual Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at the pristine NOLA Motorsports Park before traveling west to the famous city of Las Vegas, Nevada for the SuperKarts! USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals.

Garnering his ticket courtesy of his Rotax Mini Max National Championship, Michael d'Orlando would compete aboard a Haase chassis against thirty-five other competitors from the same age group. Behind the wheel of equally prepared machines, Michael would qualify in the sixth position after performing well throughout the two practice sessions. With a warm-up, prefinal and main event on the docket for Saturday, d'Orlando would fall back one position in the heat race before making a charge forward in the final.

After slicing and dicing his way through the field during the opening half of the fifteen lap main event, Michael would eventually take the point and lead the international event. Falling back to third with only a few laps remaining, the eldest of the d'Orlando brothers would be forced to take evasive action and miss an incident by the two leaders. Running in fourth at the time, Michael would be sent off the racing surface and classified in the 27th position. A bright note in the day's main event, the Team Koene USA pilot scored the fastest lap of the race.

Younger brother Nicholas d'Orlando would see action in the Rotax Micro Max division courtesy of his Vice-Championship honors at the United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals. After qualifying fifth and finishing an impressive second in the prefinal, Nicholas stole the show in the main event before the final circuit. Leading most of the laps and in contention for the victory, Nicholas would fall victim to the last lap drafting battle as he was pushed to the tail of the lead group only two corners from the end. A valiant effort in his final Rotax Micro Max event, d'Orlando would come home fifth and will now move to the Mini Max ranks in 2014.

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Jet setting across the United States to Las Vegas, the d'Orlando boys would be back at it again the following weekend for the annual SKUSA SuperNationals. Taking place on the grounds of the RIO All-Suites Hotel and Casino, Michael and Nicholas would enter the TaG Cadet division. With a strong field of 88 drivers and weather wreaking havoc throughout the first four days, sunny skies would move in on Sunday setting up a terrific day of racing action.

Qualifying 11th during Friday's timed session, Michael would out pace his younger brother by four positions to qualify in the front quarter of the field. With heat races on the docket for the rest of the weekend and the results from those setting up the grid for Championship Sunday, strong results and consistency were key.

Michael would start his wheel-to-wheel action off on the right foot taking the heat one victory with a late race pace. In a rain soaked heat two, the elder of the d'Orlandos would finish sixth after a late race spin while running third. The third and final heat would see Michael and his Team Koene USA prepared Tony Kart come home third. Younger brother Nicholas would progress through the first two heats nicely after qualifying 15th. Scoring a sixth in heat one and a 12th in the heat two after a mid-race spin, Nicholas would encounter trouble in the third and final heat as he was unable to avoid an incident and finished 27th. With the points tabulated, Michael and Nicholas d'Orlando would transfer directly to Sunday's main event with Michael lining up in the third position with Nicholas inside row twelve.

Starting third, Michael would fall victim to a first corner bottleneck and fall back to just inside the top-ten while Nicholas would be the big winner in the first corner moving from 23rd to 14th. With a large group of karts all battling hard for the prestigious victory, racing action heated up before a red flag mid-race would bunch the 44-kart field back up. With a short sprint to the finish, Nicholas would again take advantage of some action in front of him and move forward to have a career best result at the SuperNats with an eighth place result. Michael would end the day with a tenth place finish making for a pair of d'Orlando Racing (DRC) drivers in the top-ten.

Michael & Nicholas and DRC Inc. would like to give a special thanks to Lane Office for their support during the SKUSA SuperNationals. Also, a special Thanks to Koene Engines, Race Tech Development, and Team Koene USA's Mike Maurini and Martijn Koene as well as DRC's Adam Johnson for their continued hard work and support.

For more information on Michael or Nicholas d'Orlando, along with partnership opportunities, please visit Be sure to follow Michael and Nicholas on Facebook (Michael d'Orlando Racing or Nicholas d'Orlando Racing) and Twitter (@dorlandoracing) to stay up to date on news, information, photos and results.