Banni UK
British teenager Luke Bannister has won the $250,000 (£173,900) first prize in World Drone Prix in Dubai, the world’s biggest and most lucrative race, which has a total prize fund of $1 million (£696,700).

Flying for the Tornado X-Blades Banni UK team, Bannister, 15, beat 150 other teams, taking the prize in a tightly-steered nighttime race around the neon-lit outdoor circuit.

Decked out in racing overalls, pilots monitor their drones’ position through VR headsets, which take a video feed from cameras mounted on the front of their drones.

Run by the World Organization of Racing Drones, the World Drone Prix rules call for participants, over the course of 12 laps, to “overcome a series of obstacles found on the aerial track incurring as few penalties as possible”, “make a minimum of one Pit Stop per Race” and “finish first.”

Teams must consist of at least four people, including a pilot, navigator, and technical crew, and must have a sponsor, but don’t have to pay any fees to participate in the race. The roller coaster like circuit is 591m long, but that goes up to a total distance of 822m if you include both shortcut lanes and the extended-length ‘joker lane’

The World Drone Prix organisers have said that they’re looking into locations for future racing events, saying that “many cities and countries have shown interest in hosting the next race. W.O.R.D. is currently evaluating the options based on region, local regulations and communities.”

Meanwhile, Mohammed al-Gergawi, the United Arab Emirates’ Minister for Cabinet Affairs said that Dubai is planning the World Future Sports Games, to take place in December 2017.


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