Dominic currently resides in the beautiful Coachella Valley and was born and raised in the NW outside Portland, Oregon. Dominic began his motorsports career, as many racing drivers have, in karting. At the young age of 8, he built his first kart with his father in their garage. By the age of 16, he had won three national championships. Soon after, Dominic was given the opportunity of a lifetime to compete in the Winfield racing school Pilote ELF in France. Winfield racing school produced such Formula 1 drivers as Alain Prost, Olivier Panis, and Patrick Tambay.
Dominic excelled in this highly competitive environment, despite a significant language and cultural barrier. He went on to win the 1998 Winfield Pilote Elf Competition by the largest margin in the history of the competition. Historically, fifty percent of the winners move on to F1. This event launched his career to an international level and he signed with Elf Oils and Renault to compete in the 1999 prestigious La Filiere Campus Championship. Le Filiere was a boarding school for up-and-coming drivers from around the globe. Alumni names included Frank Montagny, Sebastien Bourdais, Patrick Friesacher, and Ryo Fukuda.
Fourth in the championship and negotiating for the factory La Filiere F3 ride for the following year, his personal life came crashing down. Dominic was informed that his father was diagnosed with cancer, only two years after his mother had passed from cancer. With his career at an all-time high, Dominic still chose to travel back home and take care of his father and their family business.
ACCIDENT & LOSS
In the spring of 2000, while attempting to restart his career in professional racing, he tested and was about to sign a racing contract to race Atlantic and then Indy car with a top team named Forsythe. Dominic nearly lost his life in a catastrophic shifter-kart accident. Doing a media race for the upcoming Atlantic and Indy car programs. Dominic’s life hung by a thread for over a month in a medically induced coma. Dominic’s father, still struggling with cancer, managed to survive just long enough to see his son walk out of the hospital. He succumbed to the same disease that killed Dominic’s mother just three years earlier.
While mourning the loss of both of his parents, Dominic spent over a year going through rigorous rehabilitation. Doctors never imagined he would walk, let alone drive competitively again. Dreaming of racing again was the only reason he pushed through the toughest years of his young life.
Determined to continue his racing career, He found some investors to compete in the UK Formula Renault Winter and the North American Renault series. Competing against the best young racers from around the world, Dominic began to relearn the skills he had developed earlier in his career in France. He had two significant wins in Mexico City and Phoenix, becoming the only American driver to win in the series. Dominic again aimed high for the next season, with no funding and only a few personal connections from his earlier days in Europe, he reconnected with some managers from Elf Oil and Credit Suisse. With their help, he negotiated to compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship with the unofficial Sauber F1 Jr. team. Funding was secured for half the season. While the budget did not allow a full season, Dominic faced world-class competition in the fastest and most technically advanced Junior Formula class in the world at the time. Dominic delivered continuous solid performances with minimal financing or support afforded by other drivers.
Over the next few years, the journeyman racer had the opportunity to drive for numerous teams while coaching and expanding his background in events and the business of motorsports. Funding always being the issue of the lack of competition.
Dominic’s persistence and skill paid off during the 2009 season. He signed with the Factory Falken Tire team that competes in IMSA’s GTLM class. They competed in three events and worked on an intensive testing program to develop a tire for their 2010 ALMS program. After the development season, Falken was offered a factory driver from Porsche. As in anything, politics came into play, and Dominic was passed over, and again, he was out of the ride. After driving for a factory team his driver rating, used to classify drivers, only allowed him to compete for a factory team. With limited contacts for that option, he put his head down and used the skills he knew well but in a new industry, the film and stunt world. He was instantly brought into the Union SAG/Aftra and began working on some of the biggest films, TV shows, and commercials. Coaching and networking were still high on the priority to get back in a race car.
In 2012, Dominic was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Come to find out he had actually been diabetic shortly after the internal damage from his karting accident several prior. As he looked back, the diagnoses made sense as he constantly struggled with lethargy during races due to eating carbohydrates. He took his diabetes in stride and looks at this challenge as just another hurdle in his life he learned to manage and continue to make himself stronger. Inspiring others with the disease to keep forward motion in life has always kept him positive.
THE PRIVATE CLUB
In 2017 a different opportunity presented itself over a chance meeting while coaching some drivers in the Ferrari Challenge series. The job was Chief Driving Instructor at a private country club race track. In that role, he has helped to develop and shape the club into what it is today, the ultra-exclusive and premier driving facility in the world. He has since competed in a partial season in the 2019 Formula 3 USA and finished 2nd in the 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge Series Championship and currently again working on funding for the 2023 season.
Dominic knows in this sport, and in life, there are constant ups and downs and is definitely on an upswing. The name of the game is rolling with the punches, inevitably everyone falls down, but the champions pick themselves up without losing sight of their ultimate goal. Dominic knows this better than anyone. He refuses to give up on his dream of competing as a professional driver. He is the complete package, a technical driver with a wide range of disciplines, a true and genuine people person, with an American racers heart, who loves the fans and has an authentic and pure appreciation for the sport.
His story reads like a movie script, but through it all, you can see the drive and untapped talent that this young man possesses. Follow Dominic’s story as it continues to unfold, and become a fan on social media.
Dominic Cicero’s story is one of tremendous heart, and natural skill mixed with opportunity, determination, and, most of all, perseverance. Dominic is regarded as a true American race car driver whose only true passion lies in overcoming personal and professional obstacles and becoming a champion driver through constant training, listening, learning, coaching, and regular track time.