I hadn’t heard of Icelandic Hill Climbing (also known as Formula Offroad) until my Dad told me that he wanted to go to Iceland. He’d found an experience to be a passenger in a crazy 820bph (brake horse power) nitrous powered off road buggy that is capable of going up near vertical hills and can even aquaplane across water. He needed a ‘buddy’ to lower the cost of the trip and I was the only one that could help him tick this mission off his bucket list! Formula offroad is a popular motor sport in Iceland, they hold competitions that include: hill climbing, offroad tracks and freestyle, it’s a sport that’s even reached the USA now! Check out my view from inside the cab below!
Formula Offroad Iceland
The experience lasted around 10 minutes. The only way to describe it, is like an uncontrollable roller coaster that’s not restricted to tracks! One minute you’ll be facing the sky going up the vertical wall of a quarry, next you’re driving straight towards the edge of a huge drop, when the accelerator is slammed down you are thrown back into your seat with a G force like no other. I got soaked with freezing cold ice water, covered from head to toe in mud, but at the end I had a huge grin on my face, so to me, it was a success!
We arrived at the quarry just before our scheduled time, we actually got lost and missed the turning as the sign was covered with snow! Me and my Dad were given race suits, helmets and goggles and got changed in the back of their support truck. I almost wasn’t allowed to go because the only helmets they had were too big for my tiny pea head! Thankfully they were able to force the chin strap to go tight enough so I could still do it! We had to wear our own gloves and boots, I’d recommend something waterproof!
The guys that run Offroad Iceland are professionals that compete in competitions. Running the tours help them get in a bit of practice while making a bit of cash.
My dad went first. You get strapped in with a 1 million point harness and even your arms are tied together. This is a safety precaution in case the car rolls, as often the natural instinct is to put your arm out to stop yourself…and as the cab is open air, this would be bad news. (You do have a little bit of movement, my GoPro was attached to my wrist and was able to turn it on and off which the opposite hand.)
My dad’s vehicle did indeed flip, which he thought was the best thing since slice bread and said it was the highlight of the whole experience. The race guys asked if I still wanted to go it after his had rolled and I was like ‘errr yeah! Of course!’. I ended up going in a slightly slower vehicle, I was in Zombie and my dad had Insane, which is the main one they race with. I’m pretty sure the driver was then holding back a little bit during my go. We went down hills more than up and traversed at an angle rather than going directly vertical. I loved going through the water and there was one part when we floored it going along the flat and then turned straight over the edge of the quarry!
We were actually one of the first tourists to ever be taken as passengers by Offroad Iceland and made it into the local Icelandic newspaper as a reporter came to cover the experience the day of our ride (I think they thought we were a little crazy)!
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Formula Offroad Passenger Ride?
For 2 people sharing 1 car (or in our case 2), the price PER PERSON is ISK112,500…that works out at £600/$850 EACH. The 10 minute ride costs MORE than what I pay for a return flight between London and Chicago. Definitely a once in a life time experience and the most I’ve ever paid on one single experience, but it’s something I’m glad to have done, I doubt it’s something that I’ll ever get to do again! Plus it made my Dad a very happy bunny (even if my Mum spent the whole time hiding her face in a scarf).
Want to try Iceland Formula Offroad yourself?
I booked my experience through http://offroadiceland.is! You can visit their website for more information!
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