An eMagazine about wheelchair-accessible events, sports & locations in Arizona

Adaptive Kart Racing in Tucson

kart-0075When most people hear someone talking about race karts, they envision the go-cart someone in the old neighborhood had as a kid. The lawn mower engine maybe got you going 20 miles per hour.  Well, that’s not quite what we’re talking about.  Kart racing is true high speed racing.  The fastest karts approach 130 mph, and the racing is very competitive.   Equally amazing is the cost to get involved.

Down in Tucson, there is a program at the Musselman Honda Circuit Racetrack ( for people who need hand controls.  The program is new and still evolving but they have some nice karts and the organizers have programs designed to get people with disabilities into the driver’s seat without taking too much dough out of your wallet.

Charlie Quiroz is the president of the Southern Arizona Kart Club.   He and Bryan Barten, UoA coach for quad rugby and tennis, got together and have managed to get some competitive karts donated to the program, and they have adapted the brakes and accelerator to hand controls.

Accessing Arizona caught up with Charlie, Bryan and a few other people with various disabilities at the track last week.  After receiving a few safety rules and driving tips, everyone grabbed a helmet and got to have some fun.  Karts aren’t exactly easy to transfer into, so they’ve created a slick transfer bench that gets you over the wheel and chassis and allows the transfer to happen easier.


Kart tracks are flat and have many turns.  Race karts have a snug -fitting  contoured seat which works great for people lacking upper body balance.  One of the three  karts  is a CRG model with a Honda GX200, 4-cycle engine. The  kart tops out at about 45 mph. Charlie created a clever throttle trigger for the right hand, and a hydraulic  hand  brake is adapted to the left side of the steering wheel.

The program needs more sponsors to expand.  Anyone interested can reach Charlie at


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5 Responses »

  1. Great find! I was not aware of this program, and think it will be of interest to many.

    Were you able to operate the Kart? Does one need full upper-body and finger movement to utilize these hand controls? And, finally, what is a ballpark figure on the cost?

    I think we should introduce this idea to some of the Kart tracks in Phoenix!

    Thanks for your Website!

  2. Don, Currently the program is for people with hand function. There are some adaptations out there that could be used to make the kart steer/accelerate/brake more like a power chair, but not cheap. Charlie, who runs the track is a big advocate of the program. He just needs some funding to take it the next step.

  3. Excellent read. Eric Lazar of Karting 2 Live has a program that is growing momentum here in California for people with lower extremity limitations. We are currently in the process of updating the website but we would appreciate anyones visit and comments.

    I will contact charlie for more information.

  4. hi, my name is Vianney, from France and i m quadriplegic and i practice karting like you with a rotax max.
    We are somthing like 24 pilots and for 3 years we have our national race for diseable peapole,and this year for the time we’ll have an international race the 1 week end off june.
    We have contact with Bresilian, Italian;inglish peopole.
    Could you be interristing?

  5. Is this still happening???

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Accessing Arizona is primarily designed for people who are looking for wheelchair accessible events, locations and activities. If you have paralysis (paraplegic or quadriplegic), Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Bifida, or if you are an amputee, Accessing Arizona has information about an active lifestyle.
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