Drone Race Asia (DRA), the preeminent First Person View (FPV) drone racing organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, is set to launch the first indoor vertical drone race in the world. The event, titled “Drone Race Asia (DRA) International FPV Championship”, will be held at Plaza Low Yat, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, from 1 to 3 December 2023. This event is co-organised in collaboration with Magic Beans Alchemy Sdn Bhd and the DRA Drone Racing Club, a nationally registered sports association operating under the Sports Development Act 1996 (Act 576).
In a bid to introduce the exhilarating sport of drone racing to Malaysians, this three-day extravaganza promises to showcase the very best the sport has to offer. Furthermore, DRA is poised to kickstart a global series of drone racing events, with Malaysia leading the charge. The organiser is expected to announce additional locations in due course.
For those seeking an even greater challenge, vertical racing takes drone racing to the next level. The race at Plaza Low Yat will be the world’s inaugural vertical drone race, featuring a towering height of 20 metres. This unique course will test the pilots’ mettle, emphasising speed and precision when they navigate through designated obstacles or gates within a more confined space.
The competition will encompass two categories – DRA Rookie and DRA Captain. The Rookie category caters to newcomers eager to delve into the sport while still competing within a range suitable for beginners to intermediate skill levels. On the other hand, the DRA Captain category is tailored for seasoned professionals. Contenders will be assessed based on the racer’s quickest time during the qualifying round, with a prize pool of up to USD 5,000 up for grabs.
Rest assured, safety remains paramount for both the public and racers within the competition arena, as emphasised by the organizers.
YY Choy, Director of Magic Beans Alchemy Sdn Bhd, affirmed, “Our goal is to propel this sport into the mainstream, allowing more Malaysians to experience the thrill of drone racing. We are committed to making the sport accessible and widespread in Malaysia, embarking on a journey that begins with this inaugural event.”
Johnson Yap, President of DRA Drone Racing Club, expressed his excitement, stating, “The adrenaline rush from a First Person View when piloting a drone is unparalleled. With recent technological advancements, the dream of complete immersion through goggles is now a reality. It is a pioneering sport that seamlessly combines physical and virtual reality into one captivating experience.”
YY further elaborated on the robust growth of the global racing drone market, highlighting its impressive trajectory. In 2019, the market boasted a valuation of USD 411.8 Million, demonstrating a remarkable Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.1%. Projections indicate that this market is poised for exponential expansion, with its anticipated value soaring to USD 5 billion by the year 2032. This substantial growth underscores the increasing enthusiasm and potential within the racing drone industry on a global scale.
“The prospect of becoming a professional drone pilot solidified into a genuinely lucrative career path by 2020. As industries and enterprises increasingly acknowledge the immense value of drones, skilled pilots now find themselves with the chance to have a career doing what they love. These opportunities span across various sectors, ranging from aerospace and agriculture to military defense. The prospects for growth look highly promising for proficient drone pilots,” quipped Johnson.
This inaugural event marks the beginning of an annual tradition for DRA in Malaysia. Serving as the premier stop, Malaysia will be the launchpad for a series of races to be held in various Asian countries in the coming years. In addition to vertical drone racing, DRA is set to unveil an exciting freestyle competition in the near future, further enriching the scope of drone racing experiences.
Thus far, all 30 seats in the competition have been taken up by both local and international racers. Prominent racers who will be competing in the tournament include Christian Van Sloun (Drone Racing League (DRL) pilot; pilot call sign ‘Amari’), Hugo Marco Lopez (5th FAI WDRC 2023; pilot call sign ‘Racer250’), Minjae Kim (2023 FAI WDRC Junior Champion; pilot call sign ‘Minjae’), Worawit Subsri (MultiGP Global Qualify Malaysia 2023; pilot call sign ‘PEPPER FPV’), Ko Kuan-Cheng (2023 International Drone Prix Korea Super Class Champion; pilot call sign ‘Koco’), Amiruddin Bin Mohamad Khairi (Malaysia Drone League Champion; pilot call sign ‘AMKFPV’), and many others.
For a firsthand experience, we invite you to join us at the public event held at Plaza Low Yat from 1 to 3 December. For additional information, visit DRA’s official website at www.droneraceasia.com. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in drone flying simulations and also stand a chance to win enticing prizes through our exciting lucky draw.
You can check out DRA’s social media to find out more about drone racing activities as well: