The Drone Racing League (DRL) posted its first race video today – and it’s as amazing as we’d hoped for.
Taking place all over the Miami Dolphins Stadium, the first DRL race of 2016 pitted 12 drone pilots against each other in a qualifying competition. The top 8 pilots advanced to the next level.
Color coded and tagged with lights, 4 pilots simultaneously flew against each other for 3 timed heats. Drones flew across bleachers, through neon gates, down tunnels, up ramps, and back over bleachers until barreling through the final gate – unless they crashed.
Qualifying Race 1
Bapu from California, USA
FPVProvo from Utah, USA
M0ke from California, USA
Rafa from Sao Paulo, Brazil
M0ke takes the lead early on in Heat 1 with a tight turn into the tunnel.
At the end of Heat 3 for Race 1, FPVProvo edged ahead of M0ke to take the top spot.
Qualifying Race 2
Furadi from Idaho, USA
Hazak from Idaho, USA
Rekrek from New South Wales, Australia
Spaztik from Florida, USA
A favorite coming into the race, Furadi loses control and goes down early in Heat 1.
Furadi regains his control in the next two heats and finished second overall. Rekrek is in a commanding first place.
Qualifying Race 3
FlyingBear from California, USA
Little A from Mexico City, Mexico
nine from California, USA
Zoomas from New York, USA
Tight competition in Heat 3 between FlyingBear and Zoomas.
FlyingBear soon caught an unlucky break and hit the concrete hard. He was 5 feet away from passing a checkpoint for the 50 points he needed to pass Bapu’s 150 points. Instead, they tied at 150 and went on to compete 1-on-1 in a thrilling tiebreaker race.
Tiebreaker – Bapu vs FlyingBear
Caught unaware by the unexpected outcome, DRL quickly called for a head to head match up. The pilot who completed the course fastest – or got the furthest – would secure the 8th spot and move on to the next level.
On the final stretch Bapu got flustered at being in second place and ran into a hard to see handrail.
The top 8 pilots are locked in and move to the semi-finals. Level 1 semi-finals video will be released February 29th. The finals will be released on March 9.
Level 2 will take place in Los Angeles, California. We’re looking forward to seeing the flying become faster, tighter, and fiercer as the competition heats up.