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Pretty soon Nascar may be replaced with drones, at least that’s what Nick Horbaczewkis is hoping for.
Horbaczewski founded the Drone Racing League. The new league is being backed by Stephen Ross, owner of the National Football League team Miami Dolphins, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures, a New York venture capital firm.
Horbaczewski expects most fans to watch races online, and ultimately, he hopes to become a digital Nascar for drones, reports Bloomberg Business.
The first drone race was hosted at Sun Life Stadium in Miami in December, “shooting video of drones zooming around the giant complex from various perspectives.” This content will be available online next month.
“We’re creating a whole new form of entertainment that straddles the digital and the real,” Horbaczewski said.
Within the last two years, drone racing has progressed from a niche hobby to serious business.
Fat Shark, a virtual-reality goggles maker, sponsored a racing event at the California State Fair, and it attracted more than 100 racers. The International Drone Racing Association is dedicated to setting up competitions and raising awareness of the sport.
This year, Dubai will host the first World Drone Prix, a tournament that will include speed and freestyle categories held by the IDRA, says Bloomberg Business.
“A live sports event is what makes it exciting, makes it something you can connect to emotionally,” Horbaczewski said. “Otherwise, how do you visualize the effort? Where is the drama?”
The live component will come later, said Matt Higgins, the CEO of RSE Ventures, Ross’s investment arm. Horbaczewski is first figuring out how best to capture the races, optimize the various perspectives and weave the most interesting narrative about the pilots, Higgins said.
Horbaczewski is “first demonstrating to the world that watching a drone race in some form can be really compelling,” he said. “It’s still so early that I think it’s the right approach.