The story of ”Formula Off Road” begins in Iceland May 2nd 1965 when the first Formula Off Road competition was hosted by Bifreiðaklúbbur Reykjavíkur a.k.a BKR (Reykjavik’s Car Club). After that race Egill Gunnar Ingólfsson claimed the title ”First winner of Formula Off road”. With that competition Þorkell Guðnason and fellow members of BKR made the foundation of what we call today a Formula Off Road Championship.
BKR kept hosting competition for years to come, but in 1969 The Volunteer Rescue Team Stakkur in Keflavík begun to host Formula Off Road competitions for fund-raising and soon The Volunteer Rescue Team on Hella began to do the same. Formula Off Road competition have been a big part of fund-raising for the Rescue Teams throughout the years.
With the advent of LIA 1979 the first Icelandic Championship was held and the first Icelandic Champion was Benedikt Eyjólfsson.
At the beginning there was only one class but in 1985 the second class was added to the competition because some of the contestants began to drive with multi-paddle tires. That’s when Modified Class and Unlimited Class came to exists. During these years contestants arrived on their daily drive cars, took off the equipment they didn’t need in the race itself, changed their tires to multi-paddle and started the race.
Back in the day roll-bars were the only requirement but not the complete roll-cage as it is today. It is worth noting that in 50 years of Icelandic Formula Off Road there hasn’t been any serious injuries that can be traced to lack of security measures in the cars.
Formula Off road competitions have always been a great part of the Icelandic motor-sport and is well known all over the world.
The first Formula Off road competition abroad was in Sjöbo in Sweden, July 29th 1990. Jeppaklubbur Reykjavíkur organized the competition in cooperation with Wettern Offroaders. Formula Off road then started to occur regularly in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. From 2000-2008 was competed in the Nordic Championship in all Scandinavian countries, apart from Iceland. Yet the World Cup tournament was held in Iceland in 1997-2008 but not all Scandinavian countries participated until 2004. Back in 2009 they merged all these tournaments together and gave it the name NEZ.
On the 4th of June in 2000 was the first and only Formula Offroad race in Swindon, England.
In 2016, 1st-2nd of October, will be the first Formula Off road competition in the Bikini Bottoms Off-Road Park in Tennessee, USA.
The competition’s structure is more or less the same as it was in the beginning. There are marked tracks and penalties for stopping, driving in reverse and driving with one wheel on or outside the markings of the track.