With the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer’s Cup season coming to a close just over a month ago, it was back to the New Castle Motorsports Park facility for an inaugural event. This time, taking part in the Yamaha Junior Sportsman money race held over the same weekend as the Robopong 200 – Dan Wheldon Memorial Cup, dual citizen Michael d’Orlando would walk the paddock with some of the country’s elite karting drivers as well as several from the Mazda Road to Indy program and IZOD IndyCar Series regulars as he battled for a hefty paycheck.
Racing aboard his Adam Johnson prepared J3 Competition Kosmic chassis, Michael would hit the track on Friday morning for pre event practice. Splitting track time with three other racing divisions over the weekend, Michael’s track time would be limited before official competition would begin. Trying to find the necessary speed, the DRC Inc. (d’Orlando Racing) driver left the facility on Friday looking for more.
“Today was a tough day,” explained Michael d’Orlando. “We never did find the speed we needed. I am hoping we can find just a little more tomorrow before qualifying.”
With more than 25 drivers vying for a $5000 winner’s paycheck, the competition would be fierce in Saturday’s qualifying session as Michael would set out for his run in the faster of the two qualifying groups. Turning a time quick enough for an inside row five starting position, d’Orlando would look to improve in the afternoon’s prefinal.
With rain threatening the area throughout the day, it looked as if the Yamaha Junior Sportsman prefinal would run in dry conditions. Starting in the ninth position and a fear of weather moving into the area, Michael quickly went to work to try and gain as many positions as possible. Moving forward into the top five when rain moved in, Michael would be relegated back to seventh when officials called the race early when due to wet track conditions. Only able to complete six laps of the scheduled fifteen-lap event, Michael would be classified to start the final from inside the fourth row.
In an unusual format that would see the prefinal and main events run on separate days, Michael would return back to the facility ahead on Sunday morning’s main event. Finding some more speed overnight, the eldest of the d’Orlando pilots would claim the fifth quickest lap of the morning warm-up and was confident heading into wheel-to-wheel action.
With a long thirty lap final on the docket, Michael would waste no time trying to get to the front of the field. Advancing multiple positions over the first third of the race, d’Orlando would settle into the fourth position, as he and the third place driver would work together to catch the leaders. With a large gap to overcome, nearly fifteen laps would pass without a position being changed as they managed to run down the second place driver with the fifth and sixth place competitors hot on their heels. Working hard to get to the checkers first, Michael’s progress would be hampered by lapped traffic as he lost touch, and the draft with the lead trio, but held on for a great fourth place result and a $1000 payday.
d’Orlando continued, “I would like to thank my dad and Adam Johnson for all their hard work this weekend. I would also like to say an extra special thank you to my engine builder Doug Fleming of Fleming Race Engines for excellent trackside support and providing me with great power.”
With only 23 days until the SuperKarts! USA (SKUSA) SuperNationals, d’Orlando Racing will now shift their focus to their biggest event on the 2012 calendar. Taking place in the parking lot of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, both Michael and Nicholas d’Orlando will see action in a talent-laden field of Vortex TaG Cadet drivers as they look to battle for SuperNats glory.
For more information on Michael or Nicholas d’Orlando, along with partnership opportunities, please visit www.dorlandoracing.com. Be sure to follow Michael and Nicholas on Facebook (Michael d’Orlando Racing or Nicholas d’Orlando Racing) and Twitter (@dorlandoracing) to stay up to date on news, information, photos and results.
Article By: D’Orlando Racing / Photo by: Dorlandoracing.com