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.

March 16, 2017

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Michael d’Orlando rejoins his Birel ART factory team this week as they gear up for round 3 of the WSK Super Master Series taking place this weekend, at the historic International Circuit La Conca in Muro Leccese, Italy. D'Orlando's rookie season in the OK Senior category has had its share of ups and downs so far this but both he and Birel ART are confident heading into La Conca with the potential he has shown thus far. Together, they hope for a change in luck and to improve on their 22nd place pre-final finish from a few weeks ago in Castelletto, Italy which resulted in missing the cut for the final in Round 2 of the WSK Super Master Series.

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March 3, 2017

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Michael d’Orlando and his Birel ART factory team kicked off their 2017 season abroad with back-to-back race weekends in January at the Adria International Raceway in Adria, Italy. d'Orlando's rookie season in the OK Senior category began with the WSK Champions Cup, and followed that directly up the next week with the WSK Super Master Series.

d'Orlando had a set of challenges ahead of him in experience and weather in the WSK Champions Cup. The OK (senior) class provided to be a very tough & experienced field that included multiple professional drivers and World Champions. With temperatures just shy of freezing, d’Orlando’s No. 229 Birel ART kart was fast all race week, and his results of Heat 1 in 22nd, Heat 2 in 9th, and Heat 3 in 7th were enough to put him the 12th starting spot for pre- final. An impressive run in the pre-final to bring home his No. 229 Birel ART kart to a 10th place finish was just what he was aiming for, earning his spot in the main event. Luck would run out early in the main event when mechanical issues on lap 4 would force d’Orlando to have to park his kart in the infield and ultimately finishing up in 32nd. Despite the disappointment, it was still a great start to his first OK (senior) race.

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