Star Wars Meets Formula 1: The Drone Racing League

Mix some Star Wars-style swooping and soaring with the real-world rush of Formula 1 and you’ve got a new sport that’s quickly catching on with TV viewers around the world—drone racing.

The 2019 DRL Allianz World Championship Season is coming to NBC and Twitter. Tune in on August 11, 2019 at 2pm ET.

Seagate is the official storage supplier for the Drone Racing League (DRL), which in addition to NBC is broadcast in more than 75 countries on top sports programs around the world, including Sky Sports, ProSieben, Groupe AB, OSN and FOX Sports Asia. DRL competitions are watched by 55 million fans worldwide.


“We’re proud to have Seagate as our official storage supplier,” says Ryan Gury, head of products with DRL. He adds that in a given season, the league’s media team will transfer between 30TB-to-45TB of data from 60 onsite cameras, which capture drones flying at high speeds in tight proximities.

“Fast, reliable” storage

Seagate is the official storage supplier of the Drone Racing League

“We need Seagate’s fast and reliable storage technology to efficiently and safely backup our footage,” Gury explains, “which we edit into our broadcast show.”

Kevin Brangan, director of product marketing at Seagate, says the company provides DRL with a range of LaCie storage products for speedy, secure backup and video editing, as well as Seagate SD cards.

Each race features custom-built drones that travel at speeds above 80 MPH.

“We’re stoked to be involved with the DRL and I think it’s exciting for a lot of our customers who are drone enthusiasts, and other consumers who are into interesting and breakout activities that use a lot of tech and data storage,” he said. “DRL is an exciting new sports league and we’re thrilled to be a part of the action.”

There’s plenty of high-speed action at every DRL event, says the league’s CEO, Nicholas Horbaczewski. The pilots wear VR goggles, which give them a drone’s eye view of the action—also known as first-person view (FPV). They fly the drones at dizzying speeds around the course, through gates featuring a Seagate logo, and tight, twisting turns, with crashes always in the mix.

Custom-built drones

Each race features custom-built drones that travel at speeds above 80 MPH.

“These races combine the thrill of pod-racing from Star Wars with the real-world adrenaline of Formula 1,” Horbaczewski says. “Each race features custom-built racing drones traveling at speeds above 80 MPH, where pilots race FPV through insane, three-dimensional courses in legendary locations across the planet.”

In the latest season, the best drone pilots in the world spiral drones around loop-the-loop rollercoasters at the Adventuredome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas, whiz around a rainforest, across an ocean and through a desert at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 and rip around the iconic automobile museum, the BMW Welt, in Munich. Check out the league’s videos for a sense of what these races are like.

“Our fans call DRL the ‘sport of the future’ and a real-life video game,” Horbaczewski says, “because it blends the digital and physical worlds in a way other racing formats aren’t able to support. They feel that the immersive viewing element, epic crashes and adrenaline-fueled racing through iconic backdrops make DRL incredibly exciting to watch.”


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Steve Pipe