October 9, 2016

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It was an exciting race weekend with some of the world’s best racing action in the OK Junior category for Birel Art factory driver Michael d’Orlando. Kicking off his first race of the fall season and competing in his first WSK series event on Sept 30th – Oct 2nd, d’Orlando hit the track in Adria, Italy for the WSK Final Cup with 176 drivers from 32 Countries and 5 Continents. d’Orlando showed he could compete with some of the world’s best drivers in the OK-Junior class. Although results weren’t what he’d hoped for, he continues to show that he can overcome even the toughest of adversity and find speed to compete at the highest level, with only a fraction amount of experience and track time of his competition.

Taking to the track for his first time on Thursday, at a track known to be one of the most difficult circuits in the series, d’Orlando and his Birel Art team quickly got comfortable. His Qualifying effort on Thursday would set him inside of row 7 for three out of the four heat races and that’s where things got interesting. Moving up as far as 6th but also having to overcome the super aggressive grid of experienced talent in almost all sessions, d’Orlando was in the thick of the action. Official 16th, 22nd, and 13th place results put him 35th overall after the Qualifying Heats, earned him a starting spot on the outside of row 9 for Sunday’s PreFinal-A.

The PreFinal-A event showed to be one of d’Orlando’s best performance to date. Methodically moving up the order and closer to the front he pushed further ahead of the required 17th place position he would need to compete in the afternoon’s main event. Driving a really solid race he was poised with a finish in the 13th spot. But it just wasn’t in the cards as he was given the dreaded bumper rule penalty slip at the scales that would take him from his 13th place finish to an official 18th place finish and just one spot shy of a chance to compete in the Final. But despite the heartbreak of missing the final by fractions of a second, the young talent learned a lot from this race.

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“It is heart breaking not to make the final simply from one on-track incident that was out of my control,” explains d’Orlando. “To get that bumper rule penalty and to miss it by only one spot after working so hard all weekend, hurts. We had a fast Birel Art kart all race weekend and we are making big progress. This was only my 4th event here in Europe at this level and this was a tough OK-Junior field but I was able to learn a lot and it felt great to be in the action again. I think this was a great experience and opportunity to prepare for my next race when I represent Team USA in the Rotax MAX Grand Finals in Sarno, Italy.”

Stay tuned to d’Orlando Racing as Michael d’Orlando will return to Italy on October 14th to compete for Team USA in the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Sarno, Italy from October 15th – 22nd. ( His class, Junior Max, will competed on Praga chassis for the duration of the event.

For more information on Michael d'Orlando, please visit Be sure to follow them on Facebook (Michael d'Orlando Racing), Twitter (@dorlandoracing) and Instagram (@dorlandoracing) to stay up to date on news, information, photos and results.

For media information, contact:
Jayson Kaplan, d’Orlando Racing/Driven to Succeed, (704) 293-7508 or