Starting to drive

During June, 2011 my dad and I were building a rally-cross car for me to race in when I would turn 15 a week later. I had always had a love of cars ever since I was a small child watching F1 on the TV with my parents, My father was keen on pushing me into rally-cross racing for two primary reasons, It would teach me that driving like a hooligan should always be kept on closed roads with the right safety equipment, and also because I think he enjoyed it as well.

Now I was a teenager at this time so understandably I was spending a lot of time playing video games, primarily racing games. So going into rally-cross was a whole new experience for me and certainly a lot more gripping than the computer games.

The Racing went well and I was gradually building up the pace and confidence, I of course had the greatest mentors a young man could ever have, both my father who is a well experienced rally driver and my legendary uncle "Siggi" who has a lot of experience with both rally and rally-cross racing. They were both terrific mentors as well as skilled mechanics, My mother was played a big role, she was always there for me, cheering me on alongside my sisters and the rest of the family.

I learned a lot from my racing in rally-cross, the competition was always very stiff so us competitors were always pushing each other to the limit. After two full championship seasons and a some individual trophy races I ended up with two trophy championship wins and one Icelandic championship win (2013) in the Junior category.

Making the switch to rallying

When I turned 17 and got my drivers license I immediately started focusing on the rally scene. 

My first rally race as a driver took place a week after I got my license and I went in to finish, I drove a non-turbo Impreza for my first couple of events with a relatively inexperienced co-driver. I was gradually increasing my pace much like in my rally-cross racing and things were looking good, however the car was not competitive enough to challenge for wins the following year so going into 2014 My father decided to lend me his production based Mitsubishi Evolution V for the first event.

This first event in a group N car went very well as we finished 5th and won the final stage. The second race went even better as we were close to grabbing a 4th place over all at the end of the race, I also managed to beat my father driving a quicker Evo VI. Going into the third event, I drove the Evo VI, driving this car was a big step up for me as I was for the first time handling a proper racing car with racing brakes, a racing gearbox and a top spec engine. I drove the final three rounds of the Icelandic championship with varying results but I managed to achieve my first podium in the final round.

The car I drove in the UK. A top of the line Evolution X Mitsubishi

Going abroad

At the end of 2014 I found myself planing a long term trip to the UK. I was taking the big step I had always wanted to take since my father did it some years before, going racing abroad.

This would mark a big shift in my rally driving career, I started to look at things differently and I realised that I had a lot more to learn, both in terms of driving technique, event preparation and the importance marketing myself amongst plenty of other aspects that go into building a successful driving career. I was working with Quick Motorsport during this time an lived mostly in a B&B near by, we went testing at the Sweetland complex before each event (the Wyedean Forest Rally and the Somerset Stages) and there I got some very valuable tutoring from Matt Edwards as well as Geoff Jones. My first event went well, I was driving with George Gwynn, a vastly experienced co-driver who had competed at a world class level. He guided me safely through the event and we finished safe and sound, I even managed to win an award for being the highest placed young driver out of some 160 competitors.

At the second event we were picking up the pace, I was still just focusing on making it trough to the end while gradually increasing the pace along the way. Then suddenly... I was caught out by the shadows from the trees on the road and went to deep into a corner causing the car to quickly snap sideways which unfortunately ended with a roll. This was really frustrating, especially because I was informed after the race that we were in 18th place out of some 130 crews and were in fourth place in our class. When looking back over the footage I realised that this was not only a driving error but also a setup error, I had the wrong setup for the differentials which taught me a valuable lesson which was to make sure you spend plenty of time on getting the car to behave in a way that suits you'r driving style. This was an expensive roll though, and I had to suffer the consequences of not being able to compete in any rallies for over a year, I did however manage to find some budget to go local rally-crossing and then go rallying once again a year later.

  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon

© 2017 Gunnar Karl Rally Driver official website.

Proudly created with Wix.com

  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon

Images on this site are courtesy of: 

Bergur Bergsson,

Daníel Örn Smárason,

Gamli Feiti Bitri Gaurinn,

Guðný Guðmarsdóttir,

R.G.J. Photography

Dóri Bjöss Photography

and Heimska.com

For more information on images used on this site please contact me.