Americas Featured FPV Racing

Open Grove Raceway: A Hub For Drone Racers

open grove

It’s the weekend and pilots from all over California are gathering to build, tune, and race drones around the first permanent drone racing track on the west coast of the United States. Drone racing has been the fastest expanding sector of the drone industry and certainly is the most innovative. I took a trip to Oxnard, CA to find out for myself what it takes to build, run, and sustain the first permanent drone racing course open 7 days a week.

Open Grove Raceway is the first location of its kind. Owner Joe Freidrich had been flying for about a year with his nephew when they came up with the idea to open a raceway. The hardest part about flying fast FPV racing drones is finding a good place to fly them away from people. As the local community of pilots was growing day by day, Joe started work on the raceway.

Joe has built different amenaties that make Open Grove a very special place. First is a shade structure which acts as the official piloting location during races. In front of the shade structure is a 75 yard net and supporting structure. The nets are an important part of the track keeping pilots safe from drones that might go astray and provide pilots ‘front row’ seats to watch the races.

Open Grove is a registered chapter of MultiGP, a comunity of over 15,000 pilots and 500 different chapters all over the world. There are many online drone communities, but none materialize in the flesh like MultiGP events do. MultiGP has become the authority on drone racing due to their race format, support of local chapters, and the ability to digest feedback from pilots. Racing, after all, is for the pilots. Adjusting to the pilots’ needs is how MultiGP has maintained their leadership roll in the world of drone racing.

2016 was the year that drone racing really picked up traction. We saw events like the World Grand Prix in Dubai with a 1 million dollar cash price, races like the DR1 invitational, and DRL(Drone Racing League) on ESPN touting custom courses and the worlds best pilots. While some pilots seek to be in the spotlight, there are also dedicated drone racers who eat, breathe, and sleep drone racing. Open grove caters to everyone from die hard racers to new pilots who are trying to improve their skills.

Moving into 2017 I hope to see more permanent grassroots racing courses open much like Open Grove. The old saying “If you build it, they will come” stands true, especially for a place that fulfils a need so many want.

Ricky Martinez, 1st place winner of todays race, will be a pilot to keep your eyes on in the qualifying race series leading up to the MultiGP Championship in Las Vegas in October.

If you are interested in Drone Racing visit to find a chapter near you!

Similar Posts