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IMS DEALS A CHALLENGING HAND FOR MICHAEL D'ORLANDO
September 10, 2020

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There are no guarantees in life but one thing is pretty certain in racing... seasons will be filled with plenty of ups and downs and sometimes you're just unlucky. For Michael d'Orlando, the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway presented a challenge in rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, in the Road to Indy development series. But in Indianapolis, there's no crying over spilled milk!

The 2-day triple-header Indianapolis Grand Prix took place on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course, and kicked off quietly behind the enormous walls of the famed circuit with attendance restricted to team and VIP personnel only. With only one practice to get started, d'Orlando had his work cut out for him as his only previous experience at IMS was limited in 2018. Narrowly qualifying in the top 10, the struggles continued into the first race. Mid-way through the 20 lap event, the trouble began with an off-track incident and ultimately resulting in a 20th place finish.

The next day, d'Orlando worked tirelessly with his Cape Motorsports team to dial in their Focused Project Management/DB Collaborative #4 Ligier race car, in efforts to find more speed for the Qualifying session that morning. Showing progress with an 8th place Qualifying effort and ultimately a 6th place result for Race 2, things looked promising for the final race that afternoon.

For Race 3, the grid was set based on the fastest lap times from each driver in Race 2, and d'Orlando earned himself a respectable 4th place starting position. He was poised for another run at a podium. But as we already mentioned, sometimes luck just isn't on your side. When the green flag flew, the driver starting directly in front of d'Orlando suddenly had equipment failure. Despite d'Orlando's attempt at evasive action, there was no room to avoid contact. The contact resulted in damage to d'Orlando's front wing and required a pit stop to replace it in order for him to continue racing. Falling a lap behind, d'Orlando refused to consider himself out of the game and put on an impressive performance showing his incredible race craft and speed. Methodically slapping down fast lap after fast lap, in attempt to finish on the lead lap, d'Orlando worked his way through the entire field minus four drivers. Ultimately, d'Orlando would officially finish 19th albeit narrowly missing the fastest lap of the race by a mere 33/1000th of a second.

"The weekend at IMS was not what we were shooting for and we are very disappointed." states Michael d'Orlando. "It was a combination of some back luck and just some difficulties putting things together between the car and on the track. Our qualifying position for Race 1 really put us in a bad spot and ultimately setup for the disappointing result. It was positive that we showed improvement for Race 2 and we were really confident for Race 3. It was unfortunate what happened at the start but I had nowhere to go. So now we will focus to put it all together in Ohio this weekend. We know we have the ability to fight for wins there."

The Road to Indy and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship series continues this weekend alongside the NTT Data IndyCar series, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, with strict COVID-19 protocols implemented for all teams and competitors. The four day event is open to race fans at a limited capacity.

Race fans can catch all the on-track action from the comfort of their own home with access to live audio and timing & scoring on the Road to Indy TV app and the Road to Indy TV website at www.roadtoindy.tv. Michael d'Orlando will be driving the #4 car prepared by Cape Motorsports. Tune in and show your support!

d'Orlando Enterprises LLC would like to thank their partners including DB Collaborative, Focused Project Management, UFC Gym - Mamaroneck NY, Artis Race Labs and MotorMedia USA.

d'Orlando Enterprises LLC has developed unique and remarkable VIP experiences, behind the scenes access, and other entertainment opportunities for their partners at all of these events including the Indy500. For more information on these experiences, our drivers or alternative partnership opportunities, contact Sherri d'Orlando at info@dorlandoracing.com or 917-952-0243. And as always, you can follow Michael d'Orlando on social media at Instagram (dorlandoracing and michael_dorlando51), Facebook (Michael d'Orlando Racing) and Twitter (dorlandoracing).