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.

February 11, 2016

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After a short break, it’s back to racing for Michael and Nicholas d’Orlando as they head to Ocala Gran Prix in Ocala, FL for round two of the Florida Winter Tour Rok Cup USA series. Both d’Orlando brothers are no strangers to racing at the acclaimed OGP circuit as they have won here in both Micro and Mini classes. Now they’re looking to add to their already winning record, in the Junior Rok class.

Michael heads into the weekend as the current class series points leader with a 15 point lead over Ocala’s own Mathias Ramirez. After impressive runs in the opening rounds of the FWT in Homestead, with a win in the Junior Rok season opener and a controversial second place result in the ROTAX Junior MAX opener, Michael has begun his 2016 campaign with a furious start and is looking to keep this momentum going as he gets ready for on track action in Ocala.

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February 1, 2016

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In the words of the legendary Vince Lombardi, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up”. There’s no truer words to describe Michael d’Orlando’s weekend at the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Max Challenge in Homestead, FL as he raced to overcome challenges and controversy, and crossed the finish line in victory for the second time in as many weeks. His on-track presence made it difficult to debate that he was the driver to beat all week.

The race weekend got off to a soggy start when Friday’s torrential rains washed out the afternoon scheduled Qualifier & Heat races. But Michael kicked off his race weekend on Saturday by qualifying his No. 251 KoeneUSA prepared Tony/Kart Junior MAX machine in the top spot in Group 2. A water condition on track for his Group’s session resulted in a slight disadvantage and after the merger of times of Groups 1 and 2, Michael would start in the 5th position, inside row 3, for the upcoming three heat races.

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