15 February 2017
Feature

Believe it or not, off-roading is actually illegal in Iceland - they'll lock you up. There is an exception, though, in the form of the outrageous Icelandic Formula Offroad Championship. Strapped into home-built mongrel 4x4s making up to 1500bhp, the unhinged drivers battle for the championship at courses across Iceland, attacking vertiginous rock faces and volcanic gravel pits, tearing through quagmires and even hydroplaning across water.

Formula Offroad: Up close with Iceland's most extreme motorsport

It's a crusade against gravity that has spectacular results, with cars tumbling, sinking and sometimes all but disintegrating along the way. It's all played out in front of a baying crowd to a soundtrack of hard rock - there's nothing in motorsport quite like it.

We join 25-year-old defending champion Snorri Thor Árnason and his nitrous-boosted 7.0-litre V8-powered creation, Choirboy, for one of the most challenging weekends of the season at Hella in southern Iceland. He's the man to beat and perfectly placed to give us an inside view of what it takes to conquer Hella's treacherous terrain - not to mention its deep, icy river.

Additional footage provided courtesy of Jakob Hafsteinsson - visit his Icelandic motorsport channel at www.youtube.com/jakobcecil and his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jakobcoffroad.

Thanks to Snorri Thor Àrnason, Gummi Gustafsson, Guðbjörn Grímsson, Tryggvi Thordarson and Europcar Iceland (www.europcar.is).

For the Icelandic Formula Off-road schedule, look for 'Torfæra' at www.akis.is/motahald/keppnisdagatal. Find information about visiting Iceland at www.iceland.is and www.south.is.

Watch next: Land Rover Defender vs Atlantic Ocean - https://youtu.be/dxgb1wf7kZk

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