Team USA Places Second in World Drone Racing Championship 

This press release was provided to AMA by the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI).


Namwon, Korea, 10 October 2023 – The 2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championship (WDRC) came to a close yesterday after four days of thrilling competition in Namwon, Korea. This prestigious competition brought together the 115 world’s top drone pilots to compete for the coveted title of world champion. The event, which was part of the World Drone Festa, demonstrated Korea’s mastery of drones, especially during its impressive opening and closing ceremonies.
MinChan Kim takes the crown

Korean pilot MinChan Kim, 19, emerged as the overall winner of the 2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championship. His exceptional flying abilities and strategic manoeuvers earned him the top spot on the podium.

Coming in a close second was Japanese pilot Yuki Hashimoto, 16, who displayed remarkable speed and agility throughout the championship. Completing the top three was Victor Jonsson, 31, from Denmark, whose consistent and calculated flying secured him a spot on the podium.

Wanraya Wannapong reigns supreme

Wanraya Wannapong, 16, from Thailand emerged as the champion in the female category. With her exceptional skills, unwavering determination, and remarkable consistency, she has once again proven herself as the reigning female world champion. This marks her third consecutive title win after triumphing in both 2018 and 2019.

Joining Wannapong on the podium were Chao Ting-Yu from Chinese Taipei, 31, and Luisa Rizzo from Italy, 21, who demonstrated their expertise and tenacity throughout the competition.

The rise of young talent: MinJae Kim

The 2023 FAI World Drone Racing Championship also provided a platform for young pilots to showcase their talent and potential. In the junior category, MinJae Kim from Korea, 15, soared to victory with his exceptional flying skills and impressive agility.

Beside Kim on the podium were Jakob Capobres from the USA, 17, and Silas Greener, 17, also from the USA.

Nations: victory for Korea, the host country

Korea, the host country, secured the top spot in the national rankings and claimed the gold medal. The USA and Japan came in second and third place respectively. A total of 28 nations took part in this thrilling competition.

World Drone Festa

The Championship was the main attraction of the World Drone Festa. Two additional events were organised alongside this thrilling competition: the inaugural 2023 FAI E-Drone Racing Cup and the 2023 FAI Korea Drone Soccer Open International Cup. Korea, a leader in the drone industry, also hosted a Drone Conference Expo during the World Drone Festa. In addition to these remarkable events, attendees were treated to a range of side attractions.

Third edition of the Championship

The FAI Drone Racing World Championship was held in Shenzhen, China in 2018 and Ningbo, China in 2019. Due to the pandemic, there was a three-year hiatus before the next edition.

Photos by Tom Greever