The MultiGP 2016 Drone Racing Championship kicked off yesterday (Friday, September 1st) at the Academy of Model Aeronautics headquarters in Muncie, Indiana. A huge event for professional and enthusiast pilots everywhere, the MultiGP championship brings together competition lovers from all over the nation who are interested in proving their skills and meeting their peers.
With our eagerness to see who comes out on top after the two days of racing (Saturday and Sunday), I thought it would be a good opportunity to remind people of the many different methods the MultiGP team offered to qualify. With a lot of these big events that you hear about in drone racing, the racers are invited out based on their past performances, or there may have been a mere two – three qualifier rounds prior. MultiGP decided they didn’t want that for their racing chapters or their series and proceeded to push the most well-organized, well-communicated campaign for their drone races.
And I mean every word I just said- I haven’t seen a group host so much information for interested people in such a reliable way in the drone racing scene. Heck, even in some other circles I frequent, both opportunity and information are lacking. All the information, from how to qualify, to the types of races, to how things are scored, even to the itinerary is so easy to find on their site.
Pilots competed in multiple different regional qualifiers in order to participate in the 12 regional finals. Those who placed first within the finals were guaranteed a spot amongst the 52 pilots allowed to compete in the championship race. Anyone who didn’t place first ended up on “The List”, a comprehensive ranking of all pilots who competed in the regional finals based on their best three rounds. The top 16 pilots on The List also end up being guaranteed a spot in the championship race.
The next 60 pilots (after the top 16) on The List are invited to the event, but they must compete amongst themselves in another race in order to qualify for the final, championship race. They compete in a three-round race, and the top 12 pilots qualify.
The final way a pilot can qualify (or could have, depending on what time and day you are reading this), is through the UTT60 on-site race at the event. Any pilot going through this method needs to prove their speed against official, standardized UTT times first, and then race amongst all the other participants in order to earn one of the 12 remaining spots in the championship race. Out of the 52 pilots who make it to the championship race, only one will end up being crowned champion.
Pretty simple, huh? Just for a second, I want you to imagine how this information might have been shown at any other site. It would have been incredibly confusing! There’s a reason most of these other events end up being invite-only, as the logistics required to set something up on this scale are pretty insane. They managed to host the same race multiple times all over the country, organizing and providing a huge number of opportunities for pilots who wish to compete. Between making sure that every event coordinator is on the same page, that every event is cleared to happen, that all the information is communicated perfectly to everyone, and all of the other aspects behind the scenes, a large undertaking like this championship race is difficult to set up.
And from what I can tell, it certainly looks as if they managed to pull this off without much of a hitch. Obviously, we’ll learn more at the end of the event, but I think we should raise our glasses to this organization for doing such an amazing job in the drone racing scene.
If the information about MultiGP has somehow eluded you through your interest in drone racing, be sure to check out their official site for more information.