We recently brought you the sport of Rock Bouncing that’s growing wildly in the South. We’ve now learned through the same Southern Rock Racing series that the crazy sport know as Formula Off-Road is coming to the US in 2016. Formula Off-Road was originated in Nordic countries like Iceland and started just like most other race organizations start, a few guys out competing against each other climbing hills and then that morphed into purpose built machines that compete by climbing vertical walls usually in a rock quarry or somewhere else along those lines. Most vehicles start with a Jeep platform and have locking front and rear axles, a locking center diff, and use V8 engines that range anywhere from 800-1600 hp, and most are equipped with a nitrous button that will give them an extra few hundreds horsepower at the touch of a button to get them up that last few feet of the hill.
The term hill doesn’t really do justice to what these maniacs are climbing, wall of dirt might be a better way to describe it. Using deep paddle tires these four wheel drive beasts climb these walls of pure dirt or sand in ways that you wouldn’t really think are possible until you see it with you own eyes. The driving skill that it takes to know just how much throttle and how much you can turn before you roll over on top of your head is crazy. Oh yeah, it’s not just straight vertical hill climbs either, they actually have a course with cones and such which require the drivers to do what’s called “side-hilling”, where similar to on a snowmobile, you traverse at an angle along the steep incline of the hill.
Formula Off-Road has two main classes, a modified class and unlimited class. The unlimited class is the major leagues and the main attraction. These are the vehicles where there really is no limit to what they can do, whatever will help them get to the top with the highest number of points and lowest time to get there. The point system works similar to rock crawling where you get penalized for hitting markers, or stopping, backing up, or going off the course to name a few. The Driver with the most amount of points at the end of the 8-10 race season wins the championship.
Bob Williams who owns the Bikini Bottom Off Road Park in Tennessee was such a huge fan of Formula Off-Road that he traveled to speak with race organizers and talk them into bringing the first event to the US at his Off Road Park. He feels that the loose dirt at his park would be perfect for what the Formula Off-Road drivers need to compete. The event is scheduled to take place on October 1st and we are very excited to see the footage, if not travel our there to cover it live.