It's reasonable for those relatively new to auto racing to ask, "Where does racing go-karts fit in this world?"

The answer is this: it virtually defines the success of any given driver in professional motorsport.

Karting is so important to racing that one could randomly point to any driver in F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, major league sports car racing - you name it - and for certain that driver began racing karts somewhere between the ages of 6 and 12.

Think about that.

In big-picture terms, karting is no different than Little League baseball. How many Major Leaguers did not play baseball at a young age?

Karting teaches all the fundamentals - esoteric as they may be to those not intimately knowledgeable of the sport - that must become second nature as a driver rises through the ranks: racecraft, emotional control, chassis set-up, car control skills, racing "wheel-to-wheel," team dynamics, safe driving (no, that's not an oxymoron), instantly and always changing situational awareness, money management (that means you, Mom and Dad!), communication skills… all those things you need to succeed are seeded, nurtured, practiced and learned in karting.

With very few exceptions, aspiring pro drivers who don't have a karting background begin their careers (Caution! Arcane racing metaphor ahead!) with 50lbs of extra ballast and a slowly deflating right-rear…

And that's how karting fits into the world of professional racing.

May 5, 2016

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As spring kicks into gear for the 2016 season, FWT Junior Rotax Champion Michael d’Orlando will be shaking things up a little in his karting development and will be joining forces with the Birel ART factory team from Italy, to compete in the 2016 CIK-FIA European Championships series, in the OK-J category. After fours year under the watchful eye and direction of KoeneUSA since their inception in 2013, on the Tony Kart chassis, d’Orlando Racing and driver Michael d’Orlando decided to expand their development & experiences across the pond to join the highly anticipated and extremely competitive European series. Michael is coming off a very successful start to 2016 with his FWT Junior Rotax Championship title, resulting in a spot on Team USA to compete in the Rotax Grand Finals, in addition to an FWT Junior Rok Vice-Championship title.

Michael joins the Birel ART factory team as one of their three drivers in the Junior category, in a program consisting of many world-renowned drivers, and highly accredited management team of Ronni Sala, Gianluca Beggio and Rickard Franchini, with F1 driver management talent of Nicolas Todt. This is a great opportunity for Michael, heading into his Sophomore year in the Junior ranks, and the d’Orlandos are looking forward to this new experience.

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April 27, 2016

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After a few short weeks break from his Junior rookie debut at the Florida Winter Tour, Nicholas d’Orlando returns to racing action this week under the direction of powerhouse team KoeneUSA, as he takes on Round one of the SKUSA Pro Series at the 2016 SKUSA SpringNationals. The Hartsdale, NY native is looking to continue his success from Florida and gain valuable experience as he heads to the Phoenix Kart Racing Association in Glendale, Arizona on April 29-May 1.

The young rookie knows it is going to be a tough field of international drivers in the Junior X30 class and it will be a fantastic battle for that SKUSA Pro Tour championship. Round 2 will commence in New Castle, Indiana in July, and all titles will be awarded and decided in the third and final round in Las Vegas in November, at the same venue d’Orlando had the pole position in the Tag Cadet main event before suffering from near-fatal contact in the opening corner forcing him to recover from near the back of the pack to finish 6th.

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    Michael - 2nd
    Nicholas - 7th
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    Michael - 1st
    Nicholas - 8th
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