MICHAEL D’ORLANDO DRAWS ATTENTION IN OPEN-WHEEL DEBUT
November 2, 2017
Michael d’Orlando’s nine year karting career has proven him to be one of the best karting talents in North America, including international & national championship titles, countless podiums and an opportunity to compete at the highest level in the world at the CIK FIA European Championship series, as an official driver for one of the world’s top factory teams. And with only a few days experience before jumping into an open-wheel race car competition, it seems now his car career looks just as promising.
Last month the 15-year old Hartsdale, NY native made his open-wheel single-seater debut at New Jersey Motorsports Park, in the Formula Race Productions F2000 Series, under the guidance of one of America’s top race teams, Team Pelfrey. With only 2-days of practice under his belt, d’Orlando turned all heads when he set the pace to be one of the fastest on track in the only practice day, setting times clearly exceeding the grid of seasoned veterans and showing comparable times to the top talent including 2017 Formula Atlantic Series title winner Peter Portante. And furthermore, in his very first competition, he would go on to bring home a second-place podium finish and follow up the next day with a fourth-place finish. This fourth place finish was even more impressive as he was forced to recover from a 10th place starting position resulting from issues that occured in the mixed weather & mixed track conditions of the morning qualifying session.
d’Orlando’s performance in the F2000 series event caught the attention of Team Pelfrey’s USF2000 team, thus earning him an opportunity to participate in the coveted Mazda Road to Indy (MRTI) series official test, the Chris Griffis Memorial, at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With no previous experience in the 175HP Tatuus USF-17 race car, d’Orlando hopped in the seat on the first day of the two-day test as the youngest and least experienced driver in the USF2000 class – MRTI’s first step in their ladder program to IndyCAR. His results kept him at the pointy-end of the grid, showing in the top-6, and he showed that he has the speed & talent to compete with North America’s top talent moving from karts to cars, and also with seasoned veterans at this level. So as the 2017 racing season comes to an end, Michael d’Orlando looks forward to finishing out the year testing and preparing himself for his first full year in open-wheel cars for 2018.
D’Orlando Enterprises would like to extend their Thanks and appreciation to Team Pelfrey’s F1600/F2000 management of Geoff & Jessica Bushor, and also Team Pelfrey’s USF2000 team under the management of Jonathan Baker and Anders Krohn. Additional special Thanks to the sponsors & supporters of Michael d’Orlando, including New York City based companies such as Celtic General Contractors, Parish Property Management and Focused Project Management.
For more information on Michael d’Orlando, and opportunities to be a part of the development of this young talent, contact d’Orlando Enterprises’ management team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Michael on social media at Instagram (dorlandoracing), Facebook (Michael d’Orlando Racing) and Twitter (dorlandoracing).