Drone Racing On TV Is Officially A Thing

Drone Racing On TV Is Officially A Thing

I’m not going to get my anti-gravity Wipeout ship any time soon, so I’ll settle for the next best thing: drone racing.

It’s a growing sport and it’s set to get a whole lot more attention, with ESPN announcing a partnership with the bodies responsible for the World Drone Racing Championships and the national drone racing circuit in the United States.

[credit provider=”International Drone Racing Association”]

The deal between sports broadcaster ESPN and the International Drone Racing Association is a multi-year affair, with the U.S. National Drone Racing Championships to become the first televised event from August 5. It’s taking place around lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, which immediately makes me wonder who gets to go into the history books as the first drone racer to crash into the American icon.

“Because everyone can experience the thrill of racing as if they were sitting in the drone cockpit, the sport is skyrocketing,” IDRA’s chairman Dr. Scot Refsland said in the release. It’s certainly a hell of a lot safer than racing generally (unless you’re a bit of a kamikaze pilot).

It’s sounding like a fun family event too: the race will be treated like a carnival of sorts, with entertainment for families, a drone-making area for children and your typical food and drink vendors.

There’s a promo of ESPN’s coverage, but instead I thought you might like to see something more interesting: the current top dog in world drone racing. He’s a 15-year old Brit called Luke Bannister, who took out the first World Drone Prix event in Dubai a month ago. Here’s his final lap.

The Dubai track reminds me a little bit of the New York level from Slipstream 5000. Man I’d love to get a remake of that game. Maybe that’s what someone needs to do. Anyone want to get Sumo Digital to do a tie-in video game for drone racing?


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