DJI started sending film crews to the World Rally Championship last year, highlighting the potential of drone technology and bringing WRC to a wider audience. Things almost went very wrong at the latest meet in Sardinia, Italy, when a DJI Inspire 2 barely missed a dangerous collision with one of the race cars.
Although the Chinese manufacturer has been posting highlights on its Youtube channel after each event, this is one clip you’re not likely to see from an official DJI source…
The video shows a DJI Inspire 2 – presumably one belonging to the official crew shooting the WRC series – reversing over a jump and not moving out of the way in time to avoid the incoming rally car. Fortunately, the pilot was able to pull up at the very last second and avoid any serious contact.
The driver behind the wheel was Esapekka Lappi of Toyota Gazoo Racing. The car was airborne after taking off from the Monte Lerno stage’s Micky’s Jump. Although the collision was by no means a heavy one, the force of car hitting drone appears to have sent pieces of the Inspire 2 flying.
The gimbal took a bit of a whack. We’re not expecting DJI to release footage from the point of view of the drone. Instead, videos like the one below have been produced after each stage of WRC 2017. Each highlights how DJI’s top of the range drones have the speed, manoeuvrability and versatility to film locations and high-speed racing.
Here’s the official statement from DJI on exactly what happened, translated from Italian:
On Saturday, June 10, during the WRC Rally Italia Sardegna, a drone DJI Inspire 2 touched a rally car during the shooting of the event. No injuries or damage to the machine has been reported. The rally continued regularly. DJI is investigating what has happened and is ready to cooperate with all relevant entities.