FPV Racing takes a lot of concentration and quick reflexes to stay in the air and not "crash out". The FPV Racing Frame can help you have an edge on the competition but ultimately it's all about the skill. You can have the lightest frame but if you can't put it where you want, then it doesn't matter. I would suggest getting an FPV Racing Simulator to practice racing without spending a lot of money repairing components due to crashing. There are a few good simulators out now like Liftoff , FreeRider and Hot Props.
First decide on what size props you want to run because you will have to choose an FPV frame size. Some races have regulations on the propeller size which will determine what size frame you can run. Unless the races are open to all classes its is good to have a build in each class. If you have the money to spend it is great to have a backup Racing quad identical to your favorite setup. Often you will crash and not have the time or parts to fix it before the next heat.
What Size FPV Frame to get?
Frames are sized by the diagonal motor to motor distance in millimeters. 120mm-160mm typically run a 3 inch propeller , 160mm to 180mm use a 4 inch prop, 180mm to 250mm use a 5 inch prop and 250mm and up can use 6 inch or larger prop. The 5 inch prop is the most common used for outdoor and indoor FPV racing events. There are also different types of FPV racing frames, these all have their own handling characteristics.
What Type of FPV Frame?
H Frame - One of the first and still widely used today is the H frame. This frame has a large body with arms going off in a H format. This Fame can carry a lot of FPV gear and can run a LiPo battery and GoPro on top. The batteries tend to take less damaged when placed on top. They tend to be strong but heavy frames. This is a good starting FPV racing frame because there is plenty of room which makes for an easy build. They are also usually wider than they are long, this gives the characteristics of a faster pitch axis and more stable roll.
X Frame - This FPV frame is very popular in Racing and Freestyle due to its predictable handling. The arms are placed in a X configuration which creates a more centralized center of gravity. This translates to quick changes in direction and incredible flips and rolls. Most of these frame require the LiPo battery to be placed under the frame, this makes them vulnerable to the slightest impact to the ground. Pitch and Roll Axis is very symmetrical in characteristics on this frame.
+ Frame - The plus configuration of this frame makes it track very well going straight. Many believe the propellers are placed in a more aerodynamically efficient position. It too has a predictable feel due to its symmetrical design. This FPV Frame can sometimes be difficult to see through the front propeller so camera placement is crucial.
Stretched X Frame - This variation on the X Frame is longer than it is wide. This helps to move the propellers away from each other into cleaner air when in forward flight. Supposedly giving it more thrust while providing a stable Pitch and a responsive Roll.
V-Tail Frame - Usually a heavier frame due to its construction. This type of quad has excellent yaw authority because it is using thrust to turn rather than counter motor torque. This could prove useful at certain FPV tracks with many sharp turns.
Build it Yourself.
There are many Ready To Fly Racing Drones out there, and they are great for beginners. FPV Frames like the Immersion RC Vortex 250 and Rotor X Atom 122 are ready to race with the components installed and tested. But when you crash them you will have to learn to fix it, so you might as well build one from the ground up, that way you know what could go be wrong when it doesn't work. It's a rewarding feeling when you first fly the drone that you put together with your own hands. There is a vast community and tons of information online on building a working FPV Racing Drone.
Indoor Vs. Outdoor FPV Racing
Indoor FPV Racing can often be in a confined area like a warehouse or parking garage. Under 150mm size frames are great for some of these Indoor Races. Often have low ceilings which means throttle control is critical. Smaller frames are also more nimble and have more clearance when it comes to proximity racing.
Outdoor FPV Racing can be a tight track in a park or a huge endurance course. For longer track sometimes a 5 inch or even a 6 inch prop is preferred to attempt to be more efficient. Wind can also be very strong outdoors and can affect a larger FPV frame. Some long Endurance FPV Races are starting to have more battery pit stops as well as prop changes.
Racing is here to Stay
As with any Industry it needs competition to help it grow. Competing in FPV Racing is only natural when it comes to vehicles and has always utilized technology developed on the race track into consumer models. Drones are a part of our future and Racing them will only become more popular. Many Competitors from other forms of racing are getting into drone racing. Gamers find the controls to be very video game like and the lure of not putting one's body in physical danger appeals to many. If FPV Racing interests you then go out there and get yourself an FPV Racing Drone.