"The world's coolest sport"

People from the Formula 1 circus have called it "the world's coolest sport".
The name of the sport is Formula Offroad and you can watch the spectacular competitions from Skien in Norway this weekend - live on SolidSport.
– It's such a rush to defeat a track where it's so steep that you can't walk or stand, says legend Rolf "the Rat" Keizer, 53.

LINK: Find the livestream here

Keizer says there is great value in the history of the sport.

This is where the Icelandic rescue service in the mid-1960s began to organize increasingly crazy races with their jeeps on extreme courses to raise money for the important business.

– It became a sport that attracted fans, and soon ordinary jeeps could not get up the steeper gravel slopes, so the cars were modified. They became increasingly lower and wider. More and more extreme, says Rolf Keizer.

In the mid-1990s Formula Offroad came to Sweden for the first time, and it was also in Sweden that the first two non-Icelandic cars were built.

Rolf Keizer was of course included.

– Yes, I’m one of the old guys, laughing "The Rat", who has taken a break from the competition, but is planning his comeback.

Right now, there are about eight to nine Swedish drivers, some 30 Norwegians, 50-60 Icelanders, seven to eight Finns and so some Danes. It is the Nordic region that is about, but there is also a Swiss who wants to have a go in Skien.

The competitions from Norway - that will be live broadcasted on Solidsport - will hopefully function as an important step making the sport more visible.

Show off the violent forces, the impossible paths and the skilled drivers who somehow maneuver upwards and forwards - and at best past the finish line on the six paths.

– So, when you go and look at the track before the race ..., I mean, you can't walk up. Maybe fall straight down. You wonder, how to tackle the track with a car of 1500 kilos? There is not a possibility, but then you start to think: “If you bounce the car there I can hopefully bounce it there and so on” ..., explains Rolf Keizer.

– Then you just drive according to plan, and it's a 50/50 chance if it's Newton or you that wins. But it is such a rush if you defeat a track where you cannot walk or stand. It is also a rush when you crash, but realize that with a few repairs you can still drive the next track.

It’s a fact that Formula Offroad has the potential to explode. Just ask some of the colleagues in the motor sport world

During a celebratory dinner with Formula 1 team McLaren in Kuala Lumpur, where Rolf Keizer was invited by a friend in the F1 team, the Swede got a lot of attention when it emerged that he was "that crazy swede" driving Formula Offroad in the impossible paths.

– They said, "You are the coolest sport in the world," Keizer says with a laugh.

– I replied that Formula 1 was kind of ok too...

You can watch Formula Offroad live from Skien on SolidSport - September 7-8.

LINK: Find the livestream here

TEXT: Mathias Lühr
mluhr@solidsport.com