Photos: NEZ Off Road Competition At Hella - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Photos: NEZ Off Road Competition At Hella

Photos: NEZ Off Road Competition At Hella

Jóhanna Pétursdóttir
Photos by
Jóhanna Pétursdóttir

Published May 11, 2016

This weekend Hella was the place to be for crosskart fans. The annual FIA NEZ (North European Zone) Hella competition took place at this desert-like locale. And a jubilee it was: 3 500 people showed up over the course of this two-day event.

There were about 24 crosskart drivers taking part in this contest. All of them very passionate, willing to spend anywhere from 3 to 13 million ISK on a car. However, the car does not maketh the man. Volunteer coordinator, Sigurjón Haukur Einarsson, assures us an experienced driver is far more crucial to a successful outcome than a pricey car. “The driver is definitely more than half of it,” Sigurjón explains. “So if you have a good driver with a bad car but he runs well, then he will finish top five.”

Although to the average bystander it may seem an extremely dangerous sport, Sigurjón says, “being in the car is the safest place to be because of the protection.” Each year the regulations are reconsidered to make the sport as safe as possible.

by johanna petursdottir

Icelandic champion, Snorri Þór Árnason, couldn’t agree more. His father was a driver, so he’s been around the sport from a young age. “I’m starting my fourth year now with about 6 races each year,” he says. He took second place at the NEZ competition last year in Norway but this year, with his first-place finish, he walks away the winner of the weekend’s event.

 

The organisers of Hella were all volunteers – 80 to be exact – collecting money for the search and rescue organisation here in Iceland.

24 Icelandic and two Norwegian crosskarts made the event into the muddy affair it was:

 

Additional reporting by Kelley Rees

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