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The Next Formula 1: Introducing Drone Racing League

Drone with mountain in background.

National Basketball Association. Australian Football League. Premier League. These are just some of the biggest sports leagues around the globe that have been animating sports enthusiasts for a very long time. But now, a new and exciting racing sports league is grabbing everyone’s attention by storm.

Introducing the Drone Racing League or more commonly known as the DRL. It presents a new kind of sports racing that combines high speed, high technology and precision. Some may have speculated in the past that drones would eventually invade the sports scene, but its establishment as the first professional sports league for drone racing in the world tells us that it already has made a significant mark in the sports arena.

The second Drone Racing League Championship is set to take place in Saudi Arabia in March this year.

According to Nicholas Horbaczewski, the CEO and Founder of Drone League Racing, “There’s people all over the world who build drones, meet up in parking lots, and race them competitively. And the idea behind the drone racing league is to take that to professionalized sport and to bring it to a mainstream audience.”

The continuous innovation of drones has piqued the interest of a new breed of gamers, as well as spectators who are drawn to getting their hands at the thrilling game.

It is no surprise that DRL is now deemed as the next Formula 1. Its similarities with the popular single-seat car-racing event are simply astounding. The only difference is that DRL takes place in the air.

How Does the Sports League Works?

Drone Racing League works as a first-person-view technology, which lets the pilots or participants maneuver the drone as if he is actually inside it.

Drones in the league, also known as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), can fly at a maximum speed of over 80 miles per hour. The league is the first professional race series that uses F-P-V drone racing. Players control the drone by looking at a video feed that goes through different neon-lit race courses.

Just like in all sports, drone racing also has its list of superstars. Jordan JET Temkin, popularly known as just JET in the drone racing world, is the defending world champion. He is described as “someone who possesses a unique blend of highly consistent flying and careful racing strategy.”  Other star pilots in the league are Wild Willy and Gab 707.

Preparations and Tryouts for the DRL

Players who want to enter the competition will have to join the tryouts using the DRL Simulator, a top of the line drone flying simulator. It gives aspiring pilots the chance to know and get the feel of what it’s like playing and flying a real UAV.

Ryan Gury, the Director of Product at the Drone Racing League, explains, “If you play Grand Theft Auto or Forza, you can’t really get from that game into a Formula One car and drive it proficiently. DRL Simulator is actually the thing where, because it uses two sticks, you can come from this and fly an actual racing drone.”

The tryouts are open to different countries. This means that drone pilots around the world have the chance to enter the league once they pass the preparations stage.

The DRL is not just another new sport. It is shaping the society in such a way where enthusiasts and spectators from different parts of the world—across age and gender–come together, and share a whole new experience. It is after all a combination of sports, entertainment and technology.

Because of its continuous success, DRL recently received additional $20-million investments from companies like Allianz, WWE, Liberty Media, and Formula One.

Season Two of the Drone Racing League was presented in June 2017, where the competition was broadcasted in 75 countries, making a social and cultural impact for a lot of sports fans.

The professional drone racing league was established in 2015. Its first season was launched in January 2016, where the races took place at five venues across the United States. Bud Light and Toy State are two companies from different industries that made the first investments to DRL.

The combination of sports, entertainment, and technology was made possible because of the Drone Racing League. The continuous innovation of the drone market is definitely creating a bold impact on the society either be it on sports or just for fun.



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