May 14, 2012 (Hartsdale, N.Y.) - Descending on the newly renamed Pittsburgh Racing Complex, d'Orlando Racing pilots, Michael and Nicholas d'Orlando would look to continue momentum gained at the previous events. Fresh off of podium results at both the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer's Cup event in South Carolina and a Northeast Rotax Max Challenge event at Oakland Valley Race Park, the duo would return to WKA action in Wampum, Pennsylvania.
With multiple classes for each and every age group, Michael would compete in the Cadet Junior Sportsman and Yamaha Junior Sportsman division on both Saturday and Sunday while younger brother Nicholas would do battle in the Yamaha Rookie class. Progressing through the unofficial practice day on Friday, the d'Orlando brothers immediately showed their ability to quickly adapt to the changing conditions and were set to hit the track Saturday morning for qualifying runs before wheel-to-wheel action would take place later that day.
Michael would be the first of the two drivers to hit the track on Saturday as he would open his campaign with pole position until settling into a third place result in the late stages of the three lap timed qualifying session. Falling back in the prefinal to finish sixth, Michael would battle hard in the main event to move into a podium position. In the final circuit, the New York resident was poised for the third place result and went for a pass with three corners remaining but was unable to complete the move. Losing momentum, Michael fell to the seventh position when he crossed the stripe, narrowly missing the podium.
Looking for redemption in the Yamaha Junior Sportsman division, Michael would start the day off with a ninth place qualifying run. With the goal to move forward through the heat race, d'Orlando would be caught up in an incident and was forced to start from the tail of the field on the restart. When the green flag flew, Michael was aggressive into the first complex of corners but was collected in another incident proving the difficulties from starting near the tail of the field.
Starting the main event in the 34th position, Michael charged inside the top twenty and then top fifteen as he began to mount a charge for a top ten result. Working with a fellow Kosmic driver to march their way through the field, Michael marched to the top ten with three laps remaining before an equipment failure would send him down the running order..
Entering the Yamaha Rookie class, Nicholas would start his Saturday competition with a ninth place qualifying effort out of a field of 24. Much like his older brother, Nicholas ran into some trouble in the prefinal while running in the sixth position. Contact would force the up and coming pilot to retire from the heat.
Being forced to start the main event from the tail of the field, Nicholas had a spirited drive forward to claim a ninth place result after the race was shortened by three laps due to a red flag situation.
Sunday morning would prove to be a difficult one for both Michael and Nicholas as the duo would run into additional problems during all three of their qualifying efforts, as Michael would fail to post a lap in the timed session and start his racing action from the tail of the Cadet Junior Sportsman division.
Charging forward in the prefinal to claim the 17th position, Michael advanced further forward in the main event to lead the second group of karts as he ran in the sixth position. Unable to catch the lead five karts, Michael would finally catch a break as the race was stopped for an injured driver with five laps remaining. Lining up single file for the restart, Michael would advance forward as the young field of competitors would go two and three wide on the final few circuits. When the dust had finally settled, Michael would cross the stripe in the fourth position, bringing home his second WKA National podium.
After qualifying 20th in the Yamaha Junior Sportsman division, Michael would be forced to retire from the prefinal, thus starting the final from the 34th and last position. After a spirited drive, the eldest of the d'Orlando pilots would advance forward to garner a 17th place result.
Much of the same would happen for Nicholas in the Yamaha Rookie class, as the young pilot was unable to turn a lap up to par in qualifying. Starting shotgun in the prefinal, and a successful engine change completed, a determined Nicholas drove like a seasoned veteran as he moved forward to claim the inside row five starting position for the main event. Wanting more in the main event, Nicholas advanced to the sixth position, a mere one step off the five-position WKA podium.
Michael and Nicholas d'Orlando would like to thank their team J3 Competition, and their engine builder Doug Fleming of Fleming Race Engines for their efforts to date in 2012.
Next on the docket for d'Orlando Racing will be a private event for a group of third and fourth graders at their home facility of Oakland Valley Race Park before returning to regional action.
For more information on Michael or Nicholas d'Orlando, along with partnership opportunities, please visit www.dorlandoracing.com. Also, be sure to follow Michael and Nicholas on Facebook and Twitter (@dorlandoracing) to stay up to date on news, information, photos and results.