Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 22 January 2010 00:00
Roslyn resident Michael Mineo-Nardacci has been racing at competitions throughout Long Island since he was a youngster. When he earned his driver’s license, he began competing in auto cross races on the Island and in the Northeast. Now he is vying to race in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series, which would take him to racetracks all across North America.
Michael recently qualified as a finalist for this year’s TDI Cup, a nationally televised series of 10 sports car races held from March to September at eight professional racing venues in both the United States and Canada. To do so he had to compete with up to 600 drivers at a racing challenge in Boston.
After surviving that round, it is now off to Las Vegas, where Michael has qualified to face 100 other finalists on Feb. 7-9 for three days of intense time qualifiers and other skills tests. Twenty-five drivers will be selected for the 2010 TDI Cup series. The finalists will receive a Professional Racing License from Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and will then be eligible to compete in professional racing events all over the world. Surviving the final cut also assists the racers tremendously in their ability to secure a seat with many professional racing teams.
This is the third season of competition for the TDI Cup, which is sanctioned by the SCCA pro racing. The tour itself is the start of major racing across North America. The racing series allows the 25 young drivers, ages 16 to 26 to compete against each other is a well-setup platform. Each TDI race has the drivers competing on the same race circuits used by professional Le Mans Series, ARCA, Grand Am, and the SPEED World Challenge.
Racing experts have already tabbed Michael as one of the best young racing drivers in the country. In past events, he has out-qualified 75 percent of his challengers, a percentage that bodes well for the Las Vegas competition. He is a veteran of SCCA and PCA (Porsche) events.
Michael is also looking for sponsorship for his ride. The sponsor’s name and/or logo will be prominently displayed on Michael’s assigned VW TDI Jetta and acknowledged in promotional materials during the season.
A graduate of Wheatley High School, Michael recently graduated from Hofstra with a degree in Finance.