Nicholas d’Orlando Kicks Off Junior Rookie Debut with Impressive Showing at Homestead
Nicholas d’Orlando made an impressive rookie debut last weekend at the Florida Winter Tour ROK Cup USA event, in the ROK Junior class at Homestead, FL. Despite the mostly wet weather conditions and his 19th place finish in Sunday’s final, Nicholas showed he could hang with some of the best drivers in the world in the Junior ranks. He put up some very impressive numbers and was looking like he would end up with a possible top 10 finish for his rookie debut.
Nicholas’ weekend started with a strong qualifying effort Saturday morning with an impressive seventh fastest time in Group 1, in his No. 215 KoeneUSA prepared TonyKart. Improving weather conditions between qualifying groups in the junior class resulted in Group 2 times to top most of Group 1 times, so FWT officials decided to set the qualifying grid with Group 2 on the inside row and Group 1 on the outside row for the upcoming three heat races. Nicholas would start 14th in each of the heat races, improving his position up to 9th and 13th in heats 1 & 3 respectively. The second heat added some challenges for Nicholas when after the third lap his left front tire went flat. He continued to battle throughout the remainder of the race although with a disappointing 23rd place result. His efforts would set him up on the outside of row 8 in the 16th slot for Sunday’s PreFinal event, but Nicholas was focused and ready for action.
Sunday would see some morning showers but would dry out just in time for the Junior Rok PreFinal and Final events. Nicholas had a strong start in the pre final and methodically worked his way up to finish in the top 10, a respectable starting position for the main event and quite impressive for his first event in the Junior categories.
It would be an exciting, yet challenging, Junior final for Nicholas as he maintained position just outside the top 10 for the first part of the race. As the lap count dwindled down, things would change while the endurance of a 25-lap race event began to take it’s toll on the young rookie drivers. As he fought to maintain position, Nicholas would slip down the order slightly to cross the stripe and finishing the day in the 17th slot. He would later be served a penalty in post-race inspections for aggressive driving and officially recorded in 19th.
“Over all I thought it was a good weekend. It all just came down to the final” said Nicholas. “The weekend started out really well and we were quick with good times and a good kart throughout the week. In the final, I just ran out of steam by lap 20 and it just didn’t end well for me. I learned a lot and my goal for next weekend’s Rotax event is to finish a lot stronger.”
D’Orlando Enterprises returns to racing action this weekend at the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge event back at Homestead Karting.
They would like to extend thanks to their team at KoeneUSA (www.teamkoeneusa.com), including Mike Maurini, Martijn Koene and tuner Bob Lucke 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.