About PKRA

Phoenix Kart Racing Association (PKRA) is a non-profit member operated club established in 1982 for those interested in Go Karting.  The club leases property from the Maricopa Park District on which the club maintains an outdoor asphalt track inside the Adobe Dam Park and Recreation Area.  The track allows for multiple configurations of up to 3/4th of a mile in length and averages 25 feet in width. With 12 turns of various radii and over 500 feet of straight away, it’s a constant challenge for both the novice and expert driver.

The club and track is for those who own their own karts.  There is no “arrive and drive” kart rental service. The track is open to the public during regularly scheduled times, but members enjoy reduced rates and voting rights.  PKRA operates under Sprint Kart rules.  See below for required safety equipment and local karting vendors.

Some are satisfied with the fun of driving during practice sessions.  Others want the thrill of racing, and PKRA organizes club races about every other week, with two seasons of typically 10 races each, with Winter races on Sunday days and Summer races on Saturday nights.  Unlike some indoor karting tracks where every session is a “race” and measurement is by time, these are formal races, with racing officials and results determined by finishing order.  Competitive racing requires more commitment it terms of achieving proficiency and kart maintenance.  We would like new drivers to achieve lap times sufficient for them not to be lapped in a 10-15 lap race under normal conditions before entering races.

Many maintain their own karts, but local kart shops provide services that range from selling parts to fully maintaining karts, and even to storing and transporting your kart to the track.  See the kart vendor links for more information.

Beginners Guide To Karting at PKRA

Whether you plan to go racing, drive your kart around during practice, or just see how it goes, be sure to do two things:

  1. Visit the track during practice sessions (typically Tue-Fri nights and weekends – see calendar) and/or Racing Schedule.  You’ll get a good sense of what’s involved and just about anyone is willing to answer your questions and help you out.
  2. Visit the local kart shops (see Useful Links).  They can give you specifics on what’s involved and what it will cost.

Kart Classes

You’ll need to decide what kart and engine you want to start with.  Classes are designated by engine type and age group

  • For children 5-7, the only choice is a Kid Kart.  Beginner night (Tuesdays) will teach them the basics.
  • Four stroke (LO206) is generally a good starting point for older children and adults.  They are generally easier to handle, less expensive and require less maintenance than the two stroke karts.
  • Two stroke (Tag).  These karts get more power from a higher revving two cycle engine.  They go faster, but they can be more expensive to purchase and maintain.  They also tend to wear out tires faster.
  • Shifters.   These require a significant amount of skill, as they have the highest powered engines and use a 6 speed gearbox with all-wheel brakes to achieve much faster acceleration and braking.  They can be overwhelming, and we don’t recommend getting started with a shifter.  It is not uncommon to find Shifter karts for sale after only a few sessions.


If you plan to come out very often, you’ll likely want to join PKRA to enjoy reduced practice and race fees.  Three membership levels are offered (see the Membership Page for more information), offering discounts for races and practice day fees.

Buying a Kart

There are plenty of quality used karts available at a significant discount to new, but like any other used equipment, there is a risk that you get stuck with some else’s reliability or maintenance issues.  It’s usually best to keep within a 5 year window of production; there’s a greater chance the kart will be in better shape, and it is generally easier to get parts for.  It’s best to buy a brand of chassis that has local parts availability (check kart shops for advice).  The local kart shops frequently have used equipment for which they are aware of the history.  Classified Ads are another source.  Be especially careful of Craigslist – frequently this equipment is out of date and/or in poor condition.

Don’t forget the safety equipment.  You’ll need a full face helmet with proper certification (better to buy from a kart or race shop), a neck brace, karting suit or jacket, gloves, and ankle length shoes.  Children 12 and under require a chest protector, and we recommend a rib protector for all.

Practice / Training

It’s best to start off on beginner night (Tuesdays).  The first time, you’ll get to go out by yourself, and someone is there to give you basic training/advice.  At some point, you’ll likely benefit from some coaching from an experienced driver.  Ask around – we don’t maintain a list of coaches, but we do have a lot of good drivers.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Practice Day Procedures before coming out.

Have Fun
If you aren’t having fun, then you’re doing it wrong!  Don’t take things too seriously, and don’t let your temper get the better of you when inevitably something happens you don’t like.

This is primarily a volunteer organization.  If you enjoy yourself at PKRA, it’s because people volunteer their time to keep it running.  Find some way to give back and volunteer to make PKRA great.

Personal Safety Equipment Required for Karting

  • Full-Face Racing Helmet with proper certification – up to one cycle older than current per rules
  • Neck Collar
  • Abrasion Resistant Gloves
  • Abrasion Resistant Clothing – Karting Suit or Jacket and Jeans
  • High Top Shoes with Socks
  • Under 12 – SFI Approved Chest Protector
  • Long Hair must be adequately restrained (tucking into race suit insufficient)

Highlighted Rules

  • Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6ft, in a closed vehicle (no access to outsiders), or carried in the arms, and fully under your control at all times. If an animal bites someone, the pet will be banned forever, and the person/family will be suspended/banned for at least 30 days.
  • There are no glass bottles allowed at PKRA at any time, due to park restrictions
  • No drinking of alcohol is allowed by anyone until all racing/sessions have been completed
  • All two cycles karts must have air boxes (silencers) for practice and races

Phil De La O Awards Banquet Remarks 1/27/2024

Good evening everyone and congratulations to all of our Winter Series champions and podium finishers of the 2023 season. I want to thank the club board and their contributors who made this season possible. For those who don’t know me my name is Phil De La O and my first season of karting was 2001; and this year, 2024, is my official last season. When I started racing at age 8 I never knew where PKRA would lead me in my racing career. It began here in Phoenix and eventually led me to grids across the United States and internationally. It has been said that karting is the most raw form of motorsport and looking at that statement now, to me, it’s true in multiple areas. It is the most raw form physically, emotionally, and most of all influentially. What all these things have in common is they are based in honesty.

Standing here today, no one was more honest with me than my father. A lot of our relationship was built through our karting experiences. He didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear, but rather the reality of what the situation was. I was 14 when I competed in my first national race. We were in Norman, Oklahoma and I had gone from a field of 8-12 to a field that was more than 70 drivers and I was scared. I confessed that I was scared of being injured. Instead of telling me what I wanted to hear, I remember my father telling me “you’re going to get hurt, this is and always will be a dangerous sport. It’s not a matter of ‘if.’ That’s something you’ll have to accept or not and if you don’t want to there’s nothing wrong with that but then we need to go home.” While this reply may seem harsh to some, it was honest and it allowed me to come to terms with the reality of what I was participating in. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I now realize the influence of his honesty.

This influence has become a baseline in my approach to life. It has kept me humble as a driver, allowing me to reflect inwardly and acknowledge where I can still improve. We must ask ourselves: how motivated am I as a driver? When I was 16 I was at a race in Florida and my father would wake up before me and get ready for the day. After a while, this became a point of contention. We were here for me and the pursuit of my goals and yet I wasn’t putting myself in a position to improve; I was setting myself to come up late before we even began. After self-reflection and determining that this wasn’t acceptable, I made a change within myself to strive to be first in all. At each race we start a new chapter and the only way to move forward is to be honest with ourselves in our shortcomings and what it would take to make a change for the better. This doesn’t always mean waking up first, but it does mean that our engagement at the track, no matter if it’s practice or a race, we are involved from sign in to tear down.

Not only in racing, but in life, I’ve learned you have to align yourself with people who have the same goals as you. I started racing nationally in 2007. I went through 9 tuners that year until I met Ariel Castro, most of you know him as the founder of A-M Engines, in 2010. He later became my trusted tuner until 2013 and remains a close friend to this day. What made Ariel stand apart was his passion and commitment to perfection. He was committed in every aspect from analyzing the data to making sure the kart was clean. No task was too big or too small for him to positively impact. Our joint commitment lead us to success.

Kart racing has impacted my life in so many ways I never knew it could; not only through the on track performance, but through the life lessons I’ve learned through my father and those he has surrounded me with. Looking back, I never said thank you enough to my father; not only for the financial contribution, but for the emotional contribution and sacrifice. I also never recognized the same sacrifice my mother and siblings made in committing to my personal ambition. So drivers, never forget to thank not only who is at the track, but who wasn’t, that made a difference. Parents, don’t be afraid to be honest with you driver because only through that can success be achieved.