MICHAEL D'ORLANDO TAKES TWO VICTORIES AT MID-OHIO
July 8, 2021
As the Road to Indy’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship series hits the latter half of the season, Hartsdale, NY native Michael d’Orlando seems to be turning up the wick! The second-year driver for Indiana-based Cape Motorsports has chalked up four podiums in the past five races, including two victories this past weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH. d’Orlando’s success has moved him up from the fourth spot into the second spot of the drivers’ championship with only two race weekends left for the 2021 season.
d’Orlando ascended onto the technical circuit in Ohio on Thursday for a triple-header, coming off a tough weekend at Road America only two weeks ago, where he managed a second place finish in Race 1 despite a serious engine issue discovered after the weekend's event, and also suffered an unfortunate early retirement in Race 2 as a result of a heartbreaking incident on track leaving him at the back of the order.
The Mid-Ohio practice day kicked off to a challenging start when gearbox issues surfaced. Missing out on most of the first session, and the second session entirely, d’Orlando and his Cape Motorsports team’s tireless efforts to rectify the issues paid off when he topped the time charts in the third and final session later that afternoon. It was the only session the team had successfully completed all day.
Determined to find similar results at the same circuit that he earned his first victory of his car racing career in 2020, d’Orlando once again topped the charts in the morning warmup on Friday, and continued that pace into the Qualifying session. Track position didn’t permit clean air for even faster laps in the final minutes of the Qualifying session, so d’Orlando returned to pit lane to preserve his tires for the main event. Unfortunately, this resulted in him slipping to the second spot, where he would start all three head-to-head races for the weekend. But that would not deter him nor his team.
Race 1 that afternoon showed poise and patience from d'Orlando while he setup his opponent. After the second restart, due to incidents on track requiring some laps under Safety Car, he made his move around the outside of turn four to take the lead, and ultimately extended the gap out front to bring home his second victory of the 2021 season.
Looking to build on momentum in Saturday’s main event, d’Orlando once again lined up on the outside of row one for the start of Race 2. In the opening corners of the green flag, a minor bump from behind upset the DB Collaborative #4 Cape Motorsports race car just enough to require corrective action by the driver, therefore resulting in a gap to the point position just large enough to not give any ability to overcome, on a circuit well-known for limited passing zones and tough defendants. The second place finish would be d’Orlando’s sixth podium of the season.
Early Sunday morning for Race 3, d’Orlando lined up on the outside of the front row once again, looking for redemption from Saturday’s lost position. So in the opening laps, he made his move early, once again holding station side-by-side through corners four to eight with the pole sitter, determined to not relinquish his efforts. Solidifying his position in the lead, d’Orlando would command the field for each restart of the four Safety Car incidents that followed in the next 15 laps and ultimately brought home his second victory, and third podium, of the weekend. His podium total for the 2021 season now stands at seven and keeps him in contention for the drivers’ championship just 19 points behind the leader, with only five races to go.
“That was amazing! This is an incredible feeling.” exclaims d’Orlando. “I was confident coming back here to Mid-Ohio, and the team [Cape Motorsports] have an extensive amount of experience here. We had a great car, but it definitely wasn’t easy. I had to really work hard, make the timing right and setup for the perfect move to get up to the point. But we knew getting out front would be key to just stay in the rhythm and keep consistent. The points for the drivers’ championship are tighter now, so with five races to go anything can happen. It was an honor to wear the American flag on the podium on Independence Day weekend and to have an all-American podium on Sunday to celebrate.”
The Road to Indy Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship will take a break in action while IndyCar's NBC network focuses on the Olympic Games in Tokyo. On-track action will return on August 27-29, 2021 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ. d'Orlando Enterprises is currently confirming VIP hospitality opportunities at this highly anticipated home venue.
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.
For more information about Cape Motorsports, go to www.capemotorsports.com. For more information about the Road to Indy's Team Cooper Tires USF2000 Championships and for links to the live timing and live streaming, go to www.usf2000.com, or download the Road to Indy TV app.
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 Art Wilmes of Rising Star Racing at email@example.com or Sherri d'Orlando at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to follow Michael d'Orlando on social media for all the latest information on Instagram (dorlandoracing, michael_dorlando51), Facebook (Michael d'Orlando Racing) and Twitter (dorlandoracing and michaeldOrland1).