d'Orlando Earns Maiden Victory
 June 26, 2023| 
  • Series News
21LORgb_18231S (3)
HARTSDALE, N.Y. – After a very tough start to the 2023 USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires season, facing various level of misfortune and bad luck, Michael d’Orlando commenced upon the recent L&W Supply Grand Prix of Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., with one mission in mind. Win! His textbook performance in the first official race of the weekend temporarily ended his increasingly frustrating unlucky streak, earning his long overdue maiden victory.

d'Orlando and his Turn 3 Motorsport team set the tone of dominance from the very first session, topping the charts in both of the two test sessions on Thursday, and also setting the second fastest time in Friday morning’s practice. In the first qualifying session later that day, which set the grid for Race 1, d’Orlando earned his second pole position of the season, breaking a record streak of seven different pole winners in the series thus far. In the second qualifying session, which set the grid for Race 2, he quickly topped the charts again until a red flag late in the session forced the entire field to pit lane before they could return to the track in a one-lap effort to improve their times. d’Orlando’s final lap was ultimately hindered by an error of another competitor spinning off-track in front of him, but his early performance was still strong enough to keep his #1 Priority Payment Systems/Focused Project Management/USF Pro Championships machine on the front row in the off-pole position.

The first main event on Saturday morning was filled with a series of challenges on the 4.014 mile circuit that is famously known for two very long drafting straightaways. Although d’Orlando quickly jumped out to a slight gap in the opening laps, the event included three Safety Car interruptions which kept the field close together. Slipping back as far as fifth position, d’Orlando maintained patience and poise, making his moves methodically and well-executed to take the lead in the final laps of the 15-lap event and earning his first victory in the USF Pro 2000 series, as well as turning the fastest lap of the race on the final circuit.

“The season has been pretty tough so far but we were really confident heading into Road America”, stated d’Orlando. “It’s been a little hard on everyone with the luck that we’ve had but we just kept pushing and tried to reset before the weekend. We were the fastest car the entire weekend and I’m so proud to have acquired my first win here with Turn 3 [Motorsport]. The team have put so much effort in and I’m so happy to say it paid off.”

Unfortunately, the second race on Sunday morning saw the dark cloud of misfortune return again to the 2022 USF 2000 Champion. Leading the 20-car field on the front row with the pole-sitter, his attempt at another textbook performance was cut short before it even started. Contact on the formation lap from the other driver resulted in a broken brake line and damaged front suspension, deeming his #1 Priority Payment Systems/Focused Project Management/USF Pro Championships machine unable to complete the race. d’Orlando ended up in pit lane before the green flag even flew.

The next rounds of the USF Pro Championships will commence again in support of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on June 30-July 1.  
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