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Pilots to Race in Saudi Arabia for DRL 2018 World Championship

After establishing itself as the world’s biggest and boldest drone racing organization, Drone Racing League (DRL) has been working hard to take the sport global. Its 2017 world championship was decided at a race in London’s Alexandra Palace. Next year DRL is going even further, hosting the final event of the season in Saudi Arabia. 

Along with the General Sport Authority (GSA) of Saudi Arabia, DRL has announced the 2018 DRL Allianz World Championship will take place in Saudi Arabia next September.

The race will be the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, and the 7th and final event of the 2018 DRL Season. It will feature the eight most elite FPV pilots on the planet, who will fight it out in DRL’s custom-built Racer3 drones to be crowned ‘the world’s greatest’.

DRL taps into the Saudi market

As well as signing a bunch of international broadcasting deals with the likes of ESPN, OSN, Sky Sports, ProSiebenSat.1, FOX Sports Asia, and Disney XD, DRL has been keen to move races around the world and gain as many followers as possible. So far the organization has held events in the US, the UK and Germany.

It’s not the first time that drone racing has head to the Middle East. Last year at the Drone World Prix in Dubai, an English teenager walked away with $250,000 after winning the main event.

The obvious selling point of the DRL product lies in the company’s technology. As well as having a custom-built fleet of high-spec racing drones, pilots compete on creative tracks that go way beyond what amateur competitions put together and make use of iconic venues.

Rather than being shown live, races are put through a significant amount of post-production. The result is footage that uses both the FPV and external cameras to good effect.

“With a rapidly growing fanbase in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East, we felt it was crucial to expand our presence locally and debut our iconic 2018 race there,” said DRL CEO/Founder, Nicholas Horbaczewski. “We’re thrilled to partner with the GSA of Saudi Arabia to deliver the sport of the future directly to new fans internationally.”

In response to the announcement, President of the General Sport Authority of Saudi Arabia: H.E. Turki Al-Alsheikh said, “the partnership with the Drone Racing League demonstrates our commitment to promoting and developing sports in the kingdom. Bringing the Allianz World Championship to Saudi Arabia will help grow this uniquely innovative sport in the region.”

So far, DRL has hit more than 50 million global broadcast viewers in its first two seasons and had more than 100 million views of their digital content. Back in February, the racing Organization announced Allianz as a title sponsor of its elite race circuit. DRL clearly expects that the new partnership with the GSA will help take drone racing to the Middle East and turn even more iconic landmarks into three-dimensional FPV tracks.


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