Amari Earns Win in Week 1 of 2020 FanDuel DRL SIM Racing Cup

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2020

Drones cross the start and finish line during a race in Paris, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. The city is hosting its first Drone Festival on Sunday, including a race along the Champs-Elysees. Drones of varying shapes and sizes are zipping along the avenue, lined with trees and luxury stores, in a circuit that stops just shy of the Arc de Triomphe. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
DRL

Drone Racing League pilot Amari kicked off the 2020 FanDuel DRL SIM Racing Cup with a victory in Week 1 on Saturday.

The tournament featuring 12 elite pilots is being contested virtually over the next eight weeks with competitors from around the world to benefit Direct Relief, a charity that supplies protective gear and other medical essentials to health facilities, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Direct Relief is so deeply grateful for the leadership and commitment reflected by the Drone Racing League and its players," company president Thomas Tighe said. "This support translates into immediate, practical help, and is such a wonderful example of everyone pulling together and doing whatever we can to protect those who are most vulnerable."

Here's a look at the complete Week 1 results:

         

First Semifinal

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  • Heat 1: Amari
  • Heat 2: Amari
  • Heat 3: Amari
  • Sudden Death qualifiers: Mewo and Phluxy

            

Second Semifinal

  • Heat 1: HeadsUp
  • Heat 2: HeadsUp
  • Heat 3: Vanover
  • Sudden Death qualifier: Gab707

          

Finals

  • Heat 1: Amari
  • Heat 2: Amari
  • Heat 3: Amari
  • Heat 4: HeadsUp
  • Heat 5: Vanover
  • Golden Heat: Amari

          

It was a dominant performance from Amari (real name Christian Van Sloun), who won seven of the 10 heats he took part in. Several of those wins were by multiple seconds, a significant gap in the fast-paced world of virtual drone racing.

HeadsUp (Evan Turner) looked like a legitimate contender as he breezed through the second semifinal. Although he did qualify for the Golden Heat with a win during the Finals, he never seemed to find a consistent line to provide competition for Amari in the end.

Vanover (Alex Vanover), the defending DRL world champion, was the only other pilot to earn a berth in the Golden Heat.

Amari earned five standings points to take the lead after Week 1. HeadsUp (two points) and Vanover (one) also got on the scoreboard Saturday.

The 2020 FanDuel DRL SIM Racing Cup continues May 24 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.