Nicholas d’Orlando Makes European & OK Debut in Sarno, Italy
Published: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
Nicholas d'Orlando and his J3 Competition/COMPKART team made their European debut last month, at the WSK Super Master Series and the CIK-FIA European Championship Series at the International Circuit Napoli in Sarno, Italy. It was an incredible learning experience, but not an easy one, for the young 14-year old American. The move to European competition is tough enough but d'Orlando also upped the ante with a move up to compete in the Senior category for the first time, against highly experienced competition including World Champions, professional drivers and drivers some 10 years his elder.
New to the OK (Senior) category, d'Orlando and his support team would struggle with the lack of experience to find the speed and setup in their first qualifying sessions across the pond, and ultimately qualify his No.285 COMPKART in 63rd. Although making some progress forward in the heat races, the rookie showed promise but would ultimately suffer three (10-second) penalties as a result of the drop-down bumper system that is unfamiliar at US kart tracks. With heat results of 24th , 26th, 17th, and 27th, d'Orlando would start his Pre-Final B event in the 33rd position. Continuing to make progress with each lap, he would move forward to finish in the 24th spot, completing all 20 laps despite fighting to find the power in the kart, but ultimately not enough to qualify for the main event.
After the WSK event, Nicholas would take the next week off for the Easter Break with family, and take in the spectacular sights of Italy's Amalfi Coast. With such intense travel schedules, the vacation was a nice change. But then it was back to business at Sarno again, this time for the first round of the CIK-FIA European Championship. The goal for this round was to continue to gain experience and make progress in the development of driver and equipment.
His 63rd qualifying position wasn't the result he was looking for, and it would continue to make the rest of the weekend a challenge, but d'Orlando continued to push forward and learn through the four heats. His consistent results of 23rd, 21st, 26th and 24th would put him near the tail of the grid for his Pre-Final but again, with his head held high, d'Orlando had confidence to continue to make progress. However, he would be involved in an incident at the start forcing him to retire from competition. Despite the official results, d'Orlando continues to remain confident and optimistic for the future.
"It was a rough couple weekends in Sarno but I believe that I learned a lot more than I expected, as well did our COMPKART European team, at our first races." said Nicholas d'Orlando. "It is a different level of racing here and to compete against such world class drivers definitely kicks things up a notch. I expected that it's going to be a steep learning curve and we are learning this (OK) engine/tire package. And that bumper rule is definitely a game changer. But I will take what we learned from this experience and I look forward to building on that knowledge in the next rounds. I know we have the potential for some great results."
Nicholas d'Orlando will be back to racing action after the completion of the school year at Iona Preparatory School back home in the United States, in late June. Stay tuned for continued updates and more information on Nicholas d'Orlando at www.dorlandoracing.com and be sure to follow him on Facebook (Nicholas d'Orlando Racing), Twitter (@dorlandoracing) and Instagram (@dorlandoracing).
d'Orlando Enterprises would like to thank J3 Competition (http://www.j3competition.com) for their support and leadership in Sarno and throughout the year. A special Thanks to the further support from Birel ART including Rickard Kaell Franchini and Greg Scatingia for your support in Europe. And a continued Thanks to the support of their partners at DB Collaborative (http://www.db-collaborative.com) & owner John Macones, Danilo Oliveira and Nathalia Iervolino at Fyshe USA/Adidas Motorsport (http://www.adidasmotorsport.com), all the staff at Iona Preparatory School (wwww.ionaprep.org), and Focused Project Management (http://www.focusedpm.net).