Nicholas d’Orlando Back Up Front Again in Ocala
Nicholas d’Orlando didn’t take much time to find the front of the grid again that he saw so much of in 2015. In only his second weekend competing in the Junior ROK ranks, and despite some bad luck in the main event, d’Orlando put on an impressive performance last weekend in round two of the ROK Cup USA competition at the Sofina Foods Florida Winter Tour presented by FIKSE Wheels in Ocala, FL.
D’Orlando’s weekend started with strong practice sessions on Friday as he would be in the top 10 in all three sessions. And then he would follow that up with an impressive 4th fastest qualifying time in his No. 215 KoeneUSA prepared TonyKart, setting him up to start the outside of row 2 in each of the three Heat races. A spectacular showing for the young rookie and a respectable spot behind hometown Ocala Gran Prix drivers Mathias Ramirez & Tyler Gonzalez, and an experienced older brother, Michael. With the completion of head-to-head competition on Saturday, Nicholas showed once again he was on top of his game finishing three heat races in 5th, 3rd and 3rd respectively, earning him a third slot starting position in Sunday’s PreFinal event, directly behind veteran Ramirez and one position behind his brother, Michael.
Sunday would see the beautiful weather continue once again for the final events and at the start of the PreFinal, the young d’Orlando would slot into the second position in the opening corners and eventually take the lead on lap 6. As the trio of d’Orlando, Ramirez and brother Michael entailed in battle, with pressure from Gonzalez, d’Orlando would attempt to defend his lead as the laps wound down. With few laps to go, Ramirez made his move to the front but it was an impressive second place finish for the younger d’Orlando. This result would set him up outside the front row for the main event.
The stage was set to be an exciting final in Junior Rok with d’Orlando having to contend with the home town veteran of Mathias Ramirez on the pole position and the experienced older brother Michael right behind him in 3rd. But we wouldn’t get to see how exciting it really could’ve been as bad luck would hit Nicholas at the start of the race when his No. 215 KoeneUSA prepared TonyKart failed on power and he could not keep up. Falling down the order, d’Orlando would have to pull off the track on lap 5, finishing his day in a disappointing 21st spot. On a positive note, he would gain some ground in the points as he moves up from 14th to ninth and also earn some valuable experience up front.
“I was disappointed that we did not finish better but over all I thought it was a good weekend. I ran upfront with Michael & Mathias and we were fast.” said Nicholas. “Everything started out really well and we were quick with good times and a good kart throughout the week. In the final, it was just another one of those racing things. We will be back next week for Rotax and see if we can get a stronger finish.”
D’Orlando Enterprises returns to racing action this weekend at the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge event back at OGP.
They would like to extend thanks to their team at KoeneUSA (www.teamkoeneusa.com), including Mike Maurini, Martijn Koene and tuner Adam Johnson for their continued hard work, support and dedication. Furthermore, a special Thanks to the support of their sponsors at adidas Motorsport/Fyshe USA (www.adidasmotorsport.com), Kool Nerd Clothing (www.koolnerdclothing.com), Focused Project Management (www.focusedpm.net) and Iona Preparatory School (www.ionaprep.org).
Be sure to check out their online store for Adidas karting products and Kool Nerd apparel at www.dorlandoracingstore.com.
For more information on Nicholas d’Orlando, please visit www.dorlandoracing.com. Be sure to follow him on Facebook (Nicholas d’Orlando Racing), Twitter (@dorlandoracing) and Instagram (@dorlandoracing) to stay up to date on news, information, photos and results.