St-Jean achieves best finish of fifth while Dyszelski impresses in USF Pro 2000 debut
Portland, Ore. (September 7, 2023) – Michael d’Orlando took his fourth win on the fourth different circuit this season at the USF Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires finale this past weekend at the 1.964-mile, 12-turn road course of Portland International Raceway. The 2022 USF2000 Champion started the weekend by claiming all three pole positions that were up for grabs, taking his total up to six Cooper Tire Pole Awards this year, the most won by any driver.
In Friday’s Race 1, d’Orlando held the lead to stay ahead of a massive wreck behind him which quickly brought out a yellow, then red flag. On the restart, the 21-year-old came into Turn 1 hot and opted to cut the course to avoid contact; unfortunately, the split second decision cost him, and he was penalized by being sent to the back of the field where he climbed back up to an eighth place finish.
Redemption was around the corner, however, as d’Orlando once again started his #1 USF Pro Championships/Priority Payments car from the pole for Saturday’s Race 2 where he proceeded to lead every lap of the race, opening up his advantage to over three seconds at one point and managing the gap until the end to take his fourth win of the season.
Race 3 presented one last chance for d’Orlando to add a fifth and final win to his resume, and a solid start saw the driver from Hartsdale, N.Y. lose the lead but stay in the top three with 30 laps of racing ahead of him to recover. Two caution periods quickly followed the start, and it was on the Lap 8 restart that d’Orlando was pushed out and forced to take the Turn 1 escape route to avoid contact, causing him to drop all the way back to P11. From there, d’Orlando hustled his way forward to take fifth in the final race of the season, ultimately scoring the rookie fourth overall in the championship, just three points away from the third spot in the standings.
#1 Michael d'Orlando // USF Pro 2000
USF Pro Championships/Priority Payments Systems/Focused Project Management/Rising Star Racing/UFC Gym Mamaroneck/Turn 3 Motorsport Tatuus IP-22
“I’m really proud of my season in the USF Pro 2000 series,” said d’Orlando. “It’s been great working with the Turn 3 Motorsport team and making that #1 USF Pro Championships/Priority Payments car the fastest one on track. We’ve had one hell of a comeback since the beginning of this unfortunate season, and what we accomplished was no easy feat. I’m glad we were able to finish the season with the budget restrictions we’ve had. I can’t wait to see what next year brings.”
Although he ended the weekend on a high with his second podium of the season, Jonathan Browne had a rough start at the Portland season finale. The 23-year-old had a great start in Race 1 but was struck from behind in a mid-pack wreck ahead of Turn 1, destroying the rear of his car and ending his race before he even took the first corner.
Following the chaos of Race 1, Race 2 was a much smoother to-do with Browne earning a ninth place finish at the end of 30 laps. But it was Race 3 where the Irishman truly shone, putting on an excellent drive up from P7 to P4 by Lap 10, and then making an aggressive dive to take P2 on the Lap 15 restart. From there, Browne battled it out to the end to eventually score a well-earned third place finish and his second podium of the season.
#2 Jonathan Browne // USF Pro 2000
JB Racing / Motorsport Ireland / CRPS Awareness
“It was great to end the season on a positive note,” said Browne. “In the first race, I unfortunately made it about 200 yards before I got hit from behind, causing me to retire. In Race 2, I struggled for a bit on pace but still ended up P9. In Race 2, I raced really well up to the front of the field using the many restarts to my advantage and ended up on the podium to end the season. I simply can’t thank everyone at Turn 3 Motorsport enough for the incredible shift they put in this year. I would have liked to bring home some more results, especially in the second half of the season, but it just didn’t play out that way. Let’s see what the future holds, but I will always be able to call everyone at Turn 3 my American family! Thank you to everyone!”
Louka St-Jean was one of the fortunate ones in Race 1 who was able to avoid the first lap pileup by going into the runoff, immediately moving him up to ninth. Once the race restarted, the 17-year-old rookie sought to gain more positions, making an excellent move on the #55 car of Francesco Pizzi and the #91 car of Salvador de Alba to take over P7. In the remaining laps, St-Jean moved his #3 Planiform / Proservin Construction car forward two more positions to slide into a fifth place finish, his best result of the season.
Race 2 was a bit more challenging for the young Canadian who ended up P14 after starting tenth, but he was able to redeem himself once more in the third and final race where he climbed his way up to an eighth place finish to end the season.
#3 Louka St-Jean // USF Pro 2000
Planiform / Proservin Construction / Cosme Inc. / Acier Marquis / JIT Laser / Alliance Contrôle / TLA Architectes
“It was a great feeling to finish fifth in Race 1,” said St-Jean. “Race 2 just wasn’t our race. Race 3 was chaotic, but I held on and was able to gain two positions from where I started and finish eighth. I can’t thank Turn 3 Motorsport enough for all their hard work this season. It was a great to be a part of the USF Pro 2000 series. Next year I am aiming high and will come back even stronger.”
Danny Dyszelski qualified seventh in his USF Pro 2000 debut weekend and got a great start in Race 1, launching his way up to fourth in the first corner. Sadly, the advantage was taken away as quickly as it was gained when the 15-year-old made contact with the #17 car of Nikita Johnson, taking him out of the race on the first lap and scoring him P15.
Following a turbulent Race 1, Race 2 was less eventful with green-to-green racing and a 12th place finish for the young American. In the third and final race, Dyszelski was determined to go home with a top-ten result after starting P14. With some chaos returning in Race 3, Dyszelski took advantage of yellow flags and restarts to race his #44 Formula Imports / Charlotte Medical / Skufca Law / Baker Mitchell Plumbing car up to a well-deserved ninth place finish at the end of 30 laps.
#44 Danny Dyszelski // USF Pro 2000
Formula Imports / Charlotte Medical / Skufca Law / Baker Mitchell Plumbing
“I had a great time with Turn 3 Motorsport in my USF Pro 2000 debut last weekend,” said Dyszelski. “I learned a lot from the team which led to a qualifying position of seventh and a ninth place finish in the third race. I felt that I got along with the team really well, and I’d like to thank them for a great weekend. We will see what’s in store for next year now!”
Turn 3 Motorsport ended the season second overall in the team championship, tying for the most wins with five, scoring the most pole positions with seven, and earning an additional four podium finishes in 18 rounds of racing.
Team Owner Peter Dempsey
“All in all, this was a very successful year for our program,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “Managing to get five wins, seven poles, and four additional podiums shows the strength of our team throughout the season. I am very grateful to have had young, talented drivers representing our team in 2023. I want to say a huge thanks to all the staff on the team, especially our full time crew that makes it all happen at our shop in Illinois throughout the year – Matthew McComish, Neil O’Donovan, Gavin Halahan, and James Raven. And last but certainly not least, none of this would ever be possible without the support of my wife and co-owner of the team, Mandy, both in our business and personal lives.”
"Now we have already turned our focus to next season,” continued Dempsey. “It will certainly be a new challenge with the change of tire supplier to Continental Tires, but we are looking forward to starting our post-season test program and developing our drivers for 2024.”
The team is already focused on preparations for the upcoming 2024 season, starting with off season testing and the official Fall Combine series test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway October 21-22.
To stay up to date on Turn 3 Motorsport, follow the team on social media using the handle @turn3motorsport.