GTRotorX Holds Its First Race Under The Lights In Memphis, TN
GTRotorX is a newly formed drone racing series centered around traveling and racing at night. John Trent and Alex Grey are the founding members of the series both are also experienced racers themselves, anyone who races knows having organizers with actual racing experience is an advantage. A couple of announcements were made during the first event about the future of the league. One that stands out was the announcement of a partnership with MultiGP for future events. After the MultiGP Nats, MultiGP has turned its attention toward outreach at the local level, encouraging clubs to come up with ways to get more people involved with drone racing. Forming a new league centered around traveling and night racing sounds like a great way to start doing just that.
Night Racing Basics
Night racing drones comes down to a few basic things, Drones with LEDs on them and some source of ambient light so that our FPV cameras can see enough to actually race. Also LED gates are big plus to the immersion factor for the pilots and spectators. Night racing obviously has its advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious thing you notice at your first night race is how much more visible the drones become both line of site and in the FPV feeds. You especially notice this if you have ever tried to be a spotter for a drone racing pilot. This is very difficult to do in the daytime, but put some specific colored LEDs on each quad and race at night time it would suddenly be much easier and more interesting. The LEDs on the drones also make seeing them in the pilots FPV feed much easier and much more immersive. Much like NASCAR and other forms of racing, drone racing really comes to life under the lights.
There are a few downsides to night racing, the biggest one is that it requires a pretty good source of artificial lighting often not found at local R/C parks so some extra planning and cost is assumed to account for this. There is also some extra stress involved with pitting do to lack of lighting in the pits, so something as simple as dropping your favorite screwdriver would normally not be a big deal but at night time it can quickly become a problem. There is also the issue of getting your FPV camera settings dialed in for night racing, something that is easy to overlook if you have never raced indoors or at night. All of these problems can be solved with planning and experience so I think overall night racing has a well deserved spot on the drone racing scene. Much like indoor drone racing night racing outdoors has more immersion and turns up the fun factor for everyone.
The Event And GTRotorX
The event overall was a good success, John Trent is also part of the 901 FPV club in Memphis and is no stranger to organizing and running events. Like anything else new and untested there will be some speed bumps along the way. Right now we need to grow our hobby at the local level as much as possible, the more people we are able to expose to drone racing the better. A traveling series centered around night racing with LED’ed quads and gates is gonna be a good way to attract new pilots into the great sport of FPV racing. The contact info on how you can reach John and talk about bringing a drone race into your town will be in the links below. It is clear that the GTRotorX series has the ability to offer a good platform for anyone wanting to race drones at night time. A traveling series is a new concept in drone racing right now, but it has been talked about among various groups for awhile and now we actually have one.
Some Videos From The Event