VICTORY FOR NICHOLAS D'ORLANDO IN CAREER DEBUT
April 1, 2021
After patiently waiting for all the pieces to come together for the start of his car racing career, Nicholas d’Orlando finally got the chance to hop into the race car seat for some competition. And the 17-year-old Hartsdale, New York native was impressive. d’Orlando kicked off the season with Florida-based Team Pelfrey, at the Hoosier Tires SCCA Majors event at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA just over a week ago. After three days of head-to-head combat, d’Orlando finished the weekend in his #81 Formula F (F1600) car with the two fastest qualifying laps in his class, two podium finishes that included his first victory, and topped it all off with an SCCA track record.
The three-day event began slowly on Friday when the first and only official practice session was plagued by on-track incidents, leaving the grid with only a single hot lap for the day’s warm up. So it was unexpected when the rookie d’Orlando clocked in the second fastest lap in his class in the weekend’s first qualification session later that afternoon. But he also knew he had more to give.
Following up on Friday’s performance, in Saturday morning’s second qualification session of the weekend, d’Orlando topped the F1600 charts, putting him in the 3rd position overall in the 29-car mixed-spec formula field of experienced SCCA competition. It was pleasant surprise to also discover his qualifying effort set a new SCCA track record for the Formula F class.
d’Orlando was a little nervous for his first career race start later that afternoon. Although the opening lap found him pushed back a couple positions, it took very little time to reel it back in and draft back up to the front of field taking point for the remainder of the 25-minute event. And when the checkered flag flew unexpectedly 5-minutes early due to another on-track incident, he had held off the competition breathing down his neck and found himself on the top step of the podium.
“Coming into my first weekend, the only goal was to learn as much as possible.” states d’Orlando. “It’s been 2 years since I’ve actually competed beyond a little bit of testing. Overall, the first event was incredible. The team did an amazing job, I was fast and learned a lot. I was happily surprised with my performance and the end result of the weekend with a first place in my first event. Super excited for what the future has to bring.”
Sunday’s single event proved a little more challenging in the class known for overwhelming drafting benefits. Starting once again in row two (first of the F1600 cars) it was a drafting battle right from the beginning. As d’Orlando counted down the laps, within a tight group jockeying for the final podium position, another on-track incident brought the entire field together once again for a restart. As the final few laps commenced, the front 4-car group with d’Orlando continued a drafting game of swapping positions to a last lap nail biter. And when the checkered flag flew, d’Orlando found himself on the podium once again, in third place.
Preparation for d’Orlando’s official series season continued when he competed in the Low Country Classic SCCA Regional event this past weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. After a tough couple of days fighting severe weather and technical problems, he once again brought home a race victory.
d’Orlando begins his quest for a championship in Kershaw, SC this week in the Formula Race Promotions F1600 series on April 1-3, 2021. Fans can catch live timing on the Race Monitor app, or check the website www.formularacepromotions.com for more information.
d'Orlando Enterprises would like to extend their appreciation and special thanks to their partners at DB Collaborative, Focused Project Management, MG Engineering, UFC Gym - Mamaroneck NY, Dino Energy Drink, MotorMedia USA and Rising Star Racing. We look forward to another successful year together.
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 email@example.com or 917-952-0243. And as always, you can follow Nicholas d'Orlando on social media at Instagram (dorlandoracing and dorlando_15), Facebook (Nicholas d'Orlando Racing) and Twitter (dorlandoracing and @nickdorlando).