July 12, 2012 - After competing at the Jet Karting Rotax Summer Shootout a week prior, it was back to the Michiana Raceway Park facility in South Bend, Indiana for the fourth round of the World Karting Association Manufacturer's Cup program. On a weekend that saw record temperatures and multiple drivers and crew members suffering from heat exhaustion, Michael and Nicholas took everything in stride and gained valuable points in the chase for the end of the year title.
Competing in the Yamaha Rookie class, the youngest DRC Inc. pilot Nicholas, would start his Saturday off on the right foot by qualifying in the second position. Falling backwards in the prefinal, Nicholas would end the day in the eighth position but would look to improve in Sunday's wheel-to-wheel competition.
Michael d'Orlando would see action in the Cadet Junior Sportsman and Yamaha Junior Sportsman divisions on Saturday. After turning the sixth quickest time in the morning qualifying run, Michael would be relegated to the tail of the field after failing post session weigh-in. Forced to start 28th, Michael improved to 18th in the prefinal and gained another eight spots in a hard fought main event to come home tenth.
Back on track in the Yamaha Junior Sportsman class, Michael would qualify his Fleming Race Engines powered Kosmic Kart in the third position before claiming the fourth spot in the heat race. Suffering from heat exhaustion in the afternoon, Michael struggled in the main event but managed to squeak out a sixth place result on route to the fastest lap of the race, before heading back to the hotel to recover.
"Saturday was a really challenging day for us," expressed Sherri d'Orlando. "Though both boys had good results, the heat was almost unbearable as both Michael and Nicholas struggled to keep cool. I am proud that they soldiered on and continued to compete at their highest level throughout the weekend."
Back to the track on Sunday, Nicholas did not have the start to the day that he was hoping for. Qualifying in the 19th position, Nicholas improved throughout the prefinal to cross the stripe in 12th. Running consistent laps in the main event, Nicholas managed to break into the top ten before the checkered flag flew.
Turning some heads in the Yamaha Junior Sportsman class on Sunday, Michael turned the fifth quickest time in the morning qualifying session and steadily improved throughout the day. Coming home third in the prefinal, Michael was engaged in an epic battle for the main event win that started with five karts battling for the point. When the dust had settled, d'Orlando came up just short finishing in the second position, more than four seconds ahead of the third place competitor.
Just as he did in the Yamaha event, Michael would end the Cadet Junior Sportsman event on Sunday in the second position. Qualifying ninth and claiming the eighth position in the prefinal, Michael showed his heart and determination in the main event to battle to the front. Claiming his second podium result of the weekend, Michael and Nicholas finished in the top ten in all five main events on the weekend.
D'Orlando continued, "This was Michael's best showing on the national level to date. We are looking to carry this momentum into the Rotax Grand Nationals."
DRC Inc. would like to thank the race team at J3 Competition including Justin Stefani and David Dodson, and tuner Adam Johnson, for all of their continued hard work. Additional thanks to Doug Fleming of Fleming Race Engines for his trackside service and support.
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.