Just one stop remains before the official champions of professional drone racing teams are crowned for 2019, and the international contenders are going to have to dig deep. The season finale of the Drone Champions League will be held 120 metres underground in one of the oldest salt mines in recorded history at Salina Turda, Romania. At the top of the standings, Great Britain’s XBlades Racing will be looking to capture a record fourth consecutive DCL title. But close rivals like Denmark’s APEX Racing are aiming for a coup. Who will triumph? Find out on 6-7 December 2019.
Salina Turda, ROMANIA, 2 December 2019 – The DCL is heading to Salina Turda for the third time, and never have the stakes been higher. XBlades are hungry to extend their title streak, but the 160 km/h racing is closer than ever, and the formerly invincible Brits have shown chinks in their armor. At a mid-season showdown in Turin, APEX Racing stunned XBlades by sweeping both days of racing; however, the defending champions managed to return the favour at the recent race in Vaduz. Now XBlades lead the Danes by 240 points, and with a full 500 on the table in Romania, there’s everything to play for. Currently in third, Russia’s Drone Sports still have an outside chance at the title, and Korea’s Veloce Racing are well-positioned to steal a podium spot. Plus every one of the eight professional teams will want to finish their campaign on a high.
“It’s been an incredible season so far. The teams have stepped up with even greater technical sophistication and intensified strategies, plus the skill of the pilots is at an all-time high,” says DCL founder and CEO Herbert Weirather. “Now it all comes down to this. The field is tight and we’ve already seen some big surprises this year, so anything could happen. However it plays out, the salt mine at Salina Turda is a perfect backdrop, and fans are going to get an eyeful.”
Adding to the drama will be the setting of the Drone Prix Salina Turda, where the LED-lit drones will flash through a track specially designed for the salt mine with 2,000 years of history. The cavernous space is home to a huge underground theme park as well as the largest salt mine museum in the world, but the pilots will be focused only on their objectives. When the DCL last raced in the mine in 2017, a former Czech team named Rotorama earned the top times, and in 2016, none other than XBlades were the victors.
“The salt mines are a special place. The atmosphere down there is very different [and] the dive is like nothing else, just pure adrenaline the first time you fly off the side of the cliff,” says Gary Kent, aka Justice FPV, an XBlades team member and one of the most experienced pilots in all of drone racing. “Staying number one gets harder every year, and the competition gets immensely tougher. It would be an incredible achievement. Our game plan is simple… Fly the best we can, win as many races as we can and hope that will be enough.”
Don’t miss the worldwide broadcast of the Drone Prix Salina Turda and the crowning of the 2019 champions, LIVE on TV and online this 6-7 December 2019 at 12:45 UTC +2.
For information on how to watch and all the updates: www.dcl.aero.
For more information on DCL – The Game: www.game.dcl.aero
Drone Champions League Calendar 2019
22-24 February: Draft selection, Cannes, France
29-30 March: Laax, Switzerland
12-13 July: Turin, Italy
18-19 October: Vaduz, Liechtenstein
6-7 December: Salina Turda, Romania
About the Drone Champions League
The Drone Champions League (DCL) is the recognized championship for professional drone racing teams: an innovative race series that blurs the lines between virtual and reality to serve up a new era of sports entertainment. Since 2016 the DCL has drawn the world’s best drone pilots, who qualify for each race in DCL – The Game and then go on to compete on eight international teams in some of the world’s most spectacular real-life settings, from buzzing global capitals to surreal natural wonders.
Each DCL race is broadcast live, worldwide on TV and also online. From the Great Wall of China to the Champs-Elysées – where 180,000 spectators lined the boulevard – the LED-lit racing drones dart through the custom tracks head-to-head, flashing by fans at speeds of more than 160 km/h as the pilots fly them using virtual reality goggles. First to the finish wins, and with margins breathtakingly tight, contact happens. The daring maneuvers of bold pilots can boost drones to victory or send them tumbling.
DCL – The Game offers complete engagement with the sport and a high-speed experience in your own home. Players of all experience levels fly 27 drone racing tracks, including 1:1 virtual replicas of the original DCL tracks, with contenders in the highest mode battling for places in the actual DCL Draft Selection, allowing players from the game to be recruited in to the real-life series.