HARTSDALE, N.Y. Michael and Nicholas dOrlando have found a way around driving age limits. The Hartsdale brothers are already veteran open wheel go kart drivers at ages 8 and 9 with miles of national and international track behind them.
Since before they could walk, both boys have always been very drawn to motorsports, including watching NASCAR and Formula 1 on television, Sherri dOrlando said of her two sons. Then, at the age of 5 (Nicholas) and 6 (Michael) we found Oakland Valley Race Park, took a lesson, then drove in a race or two. They've been hooked ever since.
The dOrlando brothers race open wheel go karts at both a national and international level. The engines on the karts range from 80cc to 125cc, and reach speeds up to 75 miles per hour. The drivers compete in up to three different classes, in three different United States karting series around North America.
The dOrlandos attend Iona Grammar School in New Rochelle where they are often asked about their racing exploits.
The thrill of speed and sounds of the engines, Michael and Nicholas said when asked about what attracted them to the sport. Were the only kids in school that compete in outdoor open wheel competition. We are known for racing. Teachers and classmates ask about our progress. It's very interesting (to other students) to hear about going over 60 miles per hour.
As investors of Oakland Valley Race Park, located in upstate Cuddebackville, N.Y. the dOrlando team spends a significant amount of time travelling and training.
We recently joined forces with the internationally-acclaimed race team, J3 Competition located in Erie, Pennsylvania, Sherri dOrlando said. In our first race with J3, Michael struck the podium for the first time in international competition and set the track record for his class.
The boys have been racing full time for over four years. Michael finished seventh in the U.S. Rotax Grand Nationals in Toole, Utah this past July and has been a familiar face on the podium representing the New York area region. The team recently competed in the world competition SKUSA Super Nationals in Las Vegas in November and will begin the international series in two classes at the coveted Florida Winter Tour starting in January.
Michael recently just returned from a trip to the 2011 Rok World Championships in South Garda, Italy. Prior to the Italy trip he competed in the U.S. World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturers Cup Championships and also the international Pan American Rotax Championship and was the youngest driver in the Top 10 in WKA and showed to be one of the fastest competitors of the entire field in the Pan American series.
It (Italy) was a fantastic experience for Michael, as he competed against 68 kids in his class from all around the world, Sherri dOrlando said. He was one of the youngest drivers on the grid, competing primarily against drivers ages 11 and 12 years old. The experience was fantastic and Michael is proving to be a threat in this class.
For more information on the dOrlandos and open wheel go kart racing, log on at www.dorlandoracing.com.
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