Updated: Jun 13
HARTSDALE, NY (April 10, 2023) – After a difficult season-opener on the streets of St Petersburg, Michael d’Orlando was hoping his luck would change for better results at Sebring Raceway for the third and fourth rounds of the USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires championship. Although he has proved he has the perseverance and focus to overcome anything, and the speed to top the charts, sometimes there’s just no luck in sight.
d'Orlando's #1 USF Pro Championships/Priority/Focused Project Management Turn 3 Motorsport-prepared machine showed top speeds at the notoriously bumpy circuit in all pre-season testing, so confidence was high heading into the two-day event. He immediately jumped into the top-5 of the charts in the opening laps of the weekend's only practice session, but then the momentum came to a sudden stop when he was forced to take evasive action to avoid another car spinning directly in front of him, resulting heavy contact into the tire wall and serious damage to his Tatuus IP-22. With only four hours to complete the extensive repairs before the official qualifying session later that morning, his Turn 3 Motorsport team went to work.
Having an expert team behind you is a key element to a drivers’ success and Turn 3 hit their mark. Not only was he able to Qualify, but he put it in the top five, which is an amazing feat with a car that was just in pieces, and things were starting to look up... until they weren’t. An electrical malfunction on the formation lap of Race 1 put d’Orlando’s car into safety mode, forcing him to limp back to pit lane before returning to the circuit two laps behind the field and an official finish of 16th place.
Once again, the perseverance in d’Orlando was relentless when he returned to the circuit again on Saturday for the second qualifying session of the weekend, which would set the grid for Race 2. The performance from the reigning 2022 USF 2000 Champion earned him his first Pole Position in the USF Pro Championship series and a sigh of relief… for the moment. Race 2 began with d'Orlando controlling the start from pole position and then settling into a rhythm in the second position as the draft at the start enabled the third-place car to get the draft and take the lead through turn-1. A few laps later, again to his misfortune, the bumps of Sebring played havoc by upsetting his race car’s stability on exit of Turn 1 and contact from another driver sent him into a 360 degree spin. He was fortunate to recover from a half-lap deficit with focus and precision to battle back to an 11th place finish. Regardless of the luck that has plagued d’Orlando to start this season, the rookie driver remains optimistic and confident. “The weekend at Sebring was a big test for me and the team,” said d’Orlando. “We thought we could turn around our luck from St Pete, but misfortune kept coming our way. I don’t really have the words to describe these past few races, but I can tell you this: We will not stop. We will not quit. Life will continue to push us down, but we will keep getting back up, keep our heads high, and persevere. That’s what we do. I am now focused on Indianapolis.” d’Orlando and Turn 3 Motorsport will return to action in the USF Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 11-13, 2023. To help d’Orlando continue pursuit of the $664,500 scholarship to advance his career up to the Firestone Indy NXT series (currently owned and operated by Penske Entertainment Corp which also owns and operates the NTT IndyCar series), please contact Sherri d’Orlando at firstname.lastname@example.org or Art Wilmes at email@example.com. For more information about d'Orlando Enterprises, and to sponsor or donate to our drivers, visit www.dorlandoracing.com.
To stay up to date on Michael d'Orlando, check out his new website at www.michaeldorlando.com and follow his social media on Instagram (dorlandoracing, michaeldorlandoofficial), Facebook (Michael d'Orlando Racing), Twitter (dorlandoracing and michaeldOrland1), TikTok (@michaeldorlando) and on LinkedIn. d’Orlando Enterprises LLC’s partnership with Priority Technology Holdings provide businesses with better payment processing services and potential revenue increases while also providing additional funding support for future motorsports talent. Visit www.priorityanddellc.com. For more information on the USF Pro Championships, and to watch live streaming of Michael's races, go to www.usfpro2000.com or download the USF Pro Championships app.
About d'Orlando Enterprises LLC: d'Orlando Enterprises LLC, also known as "DELLC", is a driver management, marketing, event planning and activation company with specific focus in the amateur and professional motorsports industry. We develop unique and remarkable VIP experiences, behind the scenes access, and other entertainment opportunities for partners and corporations at race events across the country, including the Indy500.