Unser Racing is debuting something fantastic: accessible go-karts.
If the name Unser rings a bell, it should, thanks to Cody Unser — daughter of racing great Al Unser, Jr. — who was paralyzed in her teens and has done many good things for the SCI community through her foundation and volunteering. Johnny Unser, cousin to Cody and an accomplished Indy 500 racer in his own right, owns the indoor go-kart facility located in Denver, Colo., where the adapted karts have debuted.
That’s right, Unser Racing is offering five go-karts with hand controls that can be driven in any of their 84 races a day. Fully integrated for safety, the hand controls are installed alongside the foot pedals, and there are two paddle controls that can be found beneath the steering wheel.
The right paddle is for the gas, and the left is for the brake, and a slick flip of a switch will turn on the hand controls and turn off the foot pedals. Very, very cool. Unser Racing also offers everything you need to transfer safely from your chair and to the kart, as well as foam padding and leg straps to make sure you are safe in the kart. You gotta love their thoroughness.
And since Unser Racing is located in a city where many people use wheelchairs live (eh-hem Craig Hospital), it’s not surprising that a few videos highlighting their adaptive indoor racing have already sprouted up on YouTube, courtesy of Colorado Adaptive of course. Check out this video of a paraplegic as he races one of the go-karts at Unser Racing last March
It also doesn’t cost too much to race either. It’s only $5 for a temporary membership, and low-cost racing is offered all week (just $10 a race on Mondays). I’m sure many paralyzed teens and young-at-heart paralyzed enthusiasts will love this latest accessible incarnation.
Have you driven a go-kart with hand controls?
- Learn more: Adaptive Karting at Unser Racing