The Future of IDRA, an Interview with Justin Haggerty

7.14.16 NA Cup Picture from IDRA

Justin Haggerty is the founder of the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA)

First there was a widely public marriage between RotorSports and IDRAFollowing rumors of a parting of ways with RotorSports (now the Drone Sports Association) we spoke with Justin to get to the bottom of what’s going on.

We also discussed what else IDRA has coming up and Justin’s personal involvement in drone racing.

Third Law Sports: Hi Justin and thanks for talking to us. What’s the deal with these RotorSports rumors?

Justin: To the drone racing community and IDRA supporters,

In order to address concerns and questions, I inform you that the International Drone Racing Association, Inc. (IDRA) board, including myself, decided that the merger with Flying Grounds, Inc. (RotorSports) was not in the best interest of the company. The 2016 U.S. Drone Racing National Championship in NYC and the 2016 World Drone Racing Championships in Hawaii are no longer IDRA sanctioned events.

We, at IDRA, don’t view this decision as bad news or a negative impact on the future of the company, the drone community, or the sport. I’m extremely excited for the opportunities that IDRA has set for the remainder of 2016 and 2017. It is through our opportunities that IDRA will remain the world standard in Drone Racing. IDRA, the company that brought you Drone Racing from FPV and Multirotor Racing, is the brand that will build our sport into a profession.

IDRA will finish the 2016 North America Cup, continue to support the 2016 D1 Asia Cup, execute international events to promote the sport, and produce educational campaigns to improve consumer awareness, pilot safety, and drone technology’s relationship with society. In the coming months, we will release content to reveal IDRA’s 2017 season. I think you will be as excited as we are.

See you at the next race!

Third Law Sports: How long have you been involved in the drone racing scene and what first prompted you to do so?

Justin: I’ve been involved in the drone racing scene for nearly two years now.

Before I founded IDRA in March 2015, drone racing was branded from its original descriptions; fpv-racing and multirotor racing. In short, I fell in love with the immersive experience. My dad competed in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) for roughly twenty years. Growing up, I was surrounded by professional racing and wanted to build the same experience for the drone community.

Third Law Sports: Do you race yourself?

Justin: Unfortunately, I’m a crasher, not a racer! All jokes aside, I fly for fun. I much prefer to organize races for the better pilots out there to enjoy and compete in.

Third Law Sports: You rank pilots on IDRA. What’s the scoring system and how does this work?

Justin: I wanted pilots around the world to receive recognition for their accomplishments in order to help build personal brands, increase the ability to land sponsorships, and facilitate a competitive nature within the sport.

Being a huge college football fan, I loved the drama and buildup that the ranking system creates as the weekend approaches, especially if games carry severe playoff and championship implications. My goal in developing IDRA’s Top 25 Ranking was to build a similar effect within drone racing’s growing fanbase.

From regional to world level races, we award points to the top placed pilots. It’s important to understand that IDRA only accepts results from open races; in short, all pilots must have had an opportunity to participate. Championships and invitationals based off of qualifier races and rankings are also characterized as open races. To update our rankings, we compile and receive results from leagues and event organizers all over the world.

Third Law Sports: What else is on the horizon at IDRA? Are you experimenting with different track locations and set ups?

Justin: The beautiful dynamic about the sport is that it can be molded and shaped to define tomorrow’s racing. As an entertainment company, IDRA is discovering and refining unconventional methods to present drone racing to the viewer.


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