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May 28, 2020

The 2020 MultiGP Series Has Officially Taken Flight!

Previously scheduled to start on March 20th, the 2020 MultiGP Series officially kicked off last weekend as Heart of America hosted their first Global Qualifier at the Heart of America Field in Moberly, Missouri, USA on May 17th.  With the world continuing to face a global pandemic over these past few months of uncertainty, it was welcoming to see some momentum in regards to the MultiGP Series and a season of drone racing.

In 2019 the MultiGP Series was a great success.  Over 1,100 pilots worldwide competed at one or more of the 172 Global Qualifiers hosted in eight different countries by 114 different MultiGP Chapters.  The goal, aside from being ranked internationally on a standardized track, is ultimately to either be ranked within the top-200 of Pro Class by the end of the season to be invited to the MultiGP Championship, or be ranked in the next 100 Positions to be invited to the MultiGP Sport Class Championship.

Carrying that torch forward, 2020 continues to look bright to crown Champions and Top-Qualifiers, on the 2020 MultiGP Global Leaderboard.

20 Pilots from 7 different states assembled at Heart of America Field for the first 2020 MultiGP Global Qualifier of the Year, making the trip from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska and across Missouri.  There were 2 new pilots running in their first-ever Global Qualifier, 7 that had been offered an invite to the inaugural MultiGP Sport Class Championship and 7 that had qualified for the 2019 MultiGP Championship in Pro Class.  That includes Lucas “Droner” Dearborn who was one of the leaders of the Global Leaderboard in early 2019 and finished 17th at Champs, Silas “Propsicle” Aaron who was 5th on the Global Leaderboard in 2019 and finished 10th at Champs and Christian “Amari” Van Sloun, the recent 2020 DRL Sim Champion, that was 11th on the Global Leaderboard in 2019 and finished 8th at Champs.  Formerly the 2018 MultiGP North-Central Regional Final Champion, Amari also won the first DRL Sim Race Broadcast on NBC Sports the day earlier, and was coming in riding a win.

Photo: Tristan Gilbert

As with any small gathering in 2020, there were social distancing protocols in place.  Heats were limited to between 3 and 4 pilots each, and participants were to remain 6′ from each other, not share equipment and exercise proper Hygiene.  If registrations exceeded 30 participants, there would be two shifts.  To avoid “lines” and “queues”, a whiteboard system was used for heats (with everyone receiving their own marker), limiting pilots to 10-packs and allowing pilots to stay isolated until their turn to fly.

51 Heats, some of which were practice though mostly were official qualifying runs spanned from 10am in the morning through just past 3pm in the afternoon.  The entire day was livestreamed on the Heart of America YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE8r9xPlDNU while many tuned in to see the first Global Qualifier of 2020 take place.

For the first-time ever, MultiGP’s Joe Scully did a “GQ Check-in” on the Global Qualifier live on the MultiGP YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqD–xBEYwE .  For 90 minutes, Scully called races in Real-time through the Heart of America PA System on-site while simultaneously broadcasting on YouTube.  In an ongoing effort during the off-season, and then “during the ‘rona”, the MultiGP Team has been working with Doug Kling on different technologies and protocols to enhance the livestream offerings of MultiGP in the realm of drone races, SIM tournaments and other events.  This inaugural “GQ Check-in” featured Scully in Canada calling the races  in real-time in Missouri, while the broadcast was produced in real-time by Doug in New Hampshire.  There may be more opportunities in the near future in bringing the action-live to the community from afar, subscribe to the MultiGP YouTube Channel for alerts for the next broadcast!

Photo: Tristan Gilbert

From the entire field of pilots at the Heart of America Global Qualifier, the fastest on the MultiGP Global Leaderboard in 2019 would repeat again in 2020.  Silas “Propsicle” Aaron whom was 5th on the Global Leaderboard in 2019 posted the first time to beat for the season.  During his 5th Qualifying Run, he posted a 32.202-second Fastest Three Consecutive Lap score; with his fastest three laps being a 10.841, 10.750 and a 10.611 on laps three through five on a five lap run, landing after 57-seconds.  His personal-best individual lap came a few qualifying rounds later at 10.469, but paired with an 11-second lap and a 10.9 second lap, the combined laps were 3-tenths of a second longer than the #1 Time currently on the 2020 MultiGP Leaderboard.  By contrast, Propsicle’s best Fastest-3 Laps on VelociDrone is 29.484 ranking him 3rd on the SIM Leaderboard, while his “real life” time is less than a second-a-lap longer.   See the SIM leaderboard here: https://velocidrone.com/leaderboard/16/444/All

Rounding out the top-5, there were three pilots finishing less than seven-tenths of a second a part with Tristin “RaceBot” Gilbert posting a 36.286, Armando “Mondo” Gallegos posting a 36.827 and the host organizer and competing pilot Shawn “Shames” Ames posting a 36.937; and Amari was marginally behind them in 5th with a 38.258.

See the entire race results here: https://www.multigp.com/races/view/?race=20278/2020-MultiGP-Championship-Qualifier and the lap-by-lap, round-by-round times here: https://heartofamericafpv.livefpv.com/results/?p=view_event&id=327996

These twenty pilots are now the first ones ranked on the 2020 MultiGP Global Leaderboard.  As the season progresses, MultiGP Chapters from around the World will host Global Qualifiers to rank their pilots internationally and seed their top-contenders for the 2020 MultiGP Championship and the 2020 MultiGP Sport Class Championship this fall.  The bar has been set, yet, many more will compete against these times as the months roll on.  We look forward to following these pilots’ journeys to MultiGP’s second World Championships, whether they let these times ride… or they attend the next Global Qualifiers to push further.  The 2020 MutiGP Global Qualifiers have begun!

The next scheduled Global Qualifier is in just under a week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with Millwaukee Rotorcross.  See the entire Schedule andcheck it often as GQ’s are added: https://www.multigp.com/championships/2020-multigp-series-global-qualifier-schedule/

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