by Veeno Dewan
TORONTO, ONTARIO, June 19, 2018 – Canadians are invited to join in on the fun at the race track this summer as kartSTART Presented by Toyota celebrates its eighth year providing hands on drivers’ safety education to kids across Canada.
Led by retired professional race car driver, Russ Bond, and sponsored by Toyota, the ASN Canada FIA safety endorsed program has helped over 6000 kids establish an early foundation for safe and responsible driving using a car just their size – a go-kart!
Beginning June 30, kartSTART will visit 10 cities across Canada, including a new stop added to the tour in Ottawa, Ontario. By popular demand, the program will also return to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where it last visited in 2015.
“What’s great about the kartSTART program is kids are not only given the opportunity to experience being behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle (many for the first time), but they’re becoming familiar with driver safety well before they can get a license,” said Cyril Dimitris, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Toyota Canada Inc. “kartSTART is helping create a better, safer future for the drivers of tomorrow.”
New to this year’s program is a professionally designed go-kart made accessible for kids with physical disabilities so that they can drive too! The accessible go-kart looks the same as the other karts, but with hand-controlled throttle and braking incorporated into the design of the steering wheel. As a mobility company, Toyota is committed to supporting the creation of a more inclusive society where every individual has the freedom to move.
Jonak Motorsport, one of Canada’s leading racing fabrication and restoration companies, was tasked with designing, building and testing kartSTART’s accessible go-kart. The company specializes in high-end projects, from restoring vintage Formula 1 cars, to building safe, racing quality go-karts. Jonak Motorsport has been a partner of kartSTART for eight years and has been instrumental in developing a specialized fleet of karts for the program.
“I’m thrilled about this year’s additions to the 2018 kartSTART program,” said Russ Bond, founder of kartSTART Presented by Toyota. “With the new accessible go-kart, we now have the ability to create a more inclusive environment, where mobility is no longer a barrier for children with physical disabilities affecting the lower limbs.”