Drone Racing in Romanian Salt Mine Set to Go

Drone Racing - the newest sport?
Drone Racing - the newest sport?

Drone Racing
Drone Racing is rapidly becoming a sport with a ‘cult following’

Salina Turda” is one of the oldest and most famous salt mines in Romania. Salt was trawled from here and the surrounding area as far back as Roman times. Operations began at the mine in 1690 during the Habsburg empire, with today’s site constituting what remains since the mine closed in 1932. In 2010 the chambers were restored and several recreational attractions added. On average, more than 4,000 visitors visit the current mine site every weekend.

This growing cult sport has already triggered much hype in America and Asia – and the Drone Champions League is also conquering Europe in a big way. Just as spectacular and unique as the drones’ manoeuvres are the Drone Champions League race venues: the inaugural race in August was played out against the backdrop of the historic ruins of Schlosskopf fortress in Reutte, Austria. From 18 to 20 November, the drones will tackle the 3D race track at the Romanian Turda Salt Mine, hitting speeds of 130 km/h.

Similar to motor sport, the Drone Champions League is contested by racing teams. Each team nominates 4 pilots to compete in the races for their team. In the race itself, each pilot competes individually in a “four racer heat”. A race consists of 5 laps and lasts for approximately two minutes. 40 pilots (10 teams) take part in the qualification round, with only 32 pilots making it through to the knock-out competition to decide the eventual race winner. The top 12 competitors at the end of each Drone Champions League race are awarded a certain number of points. The pilot with the most points at the end of the season is the overall winner of the Drone Champions League. The pilots have to successfully navigate every gate and obstacle in order for a round to count as valid. If several copters crash in a single heat, the circuit distance completed by the racers prior to crashing determines the points awarded.