Women Crush Wednesdays: Catie Munnings
This week’s WCW is about Andretti United Extreme E driver Catie Munnings. You might know her after she won the Arctic Grand Prix in Greenland this summer, or from her European Ladies Rally Championship. Either way: this week’s all about Catie!
Written by Esmée Koppius, Edited by Tanishka Vashee
Catie Munnings was born on the 15th of November 1997 in the United Kingdom. She is the daughter of former rally driver Chris Munnings. She’s very smart; going to an all girls school in Kent, she acted as deputy head girl. She even took three A-Level examinations. She wasn’t just brainy though, and showed big potential in athletics, competing in national level tournaments. She was also talent-spotted as a dancer. She combined her school work with rally tournaments, and later on declined a place at university to focus on her dream: rally and motorsport.
Together with Susie Wolff, she works together on the Dare to be Different campaign. It encourages young girls to pursue a career in motorsport and racing. Next to that, she helps the IAM RoadSmart Charity.
She named Michèle Mouton (the 1982 World Rally Championship runner up) as her idol, and we can clearly see why. They have a lot in common.
Her racing career
Her racing interest started at seven, when she visited her dad’s workplace. By the time she was 13, she apparently was capable of doing a perfect handbrake turn. After that she even gave her friends driving lessons! But to qualify for the European Rally Championship, you need an international licence, so she entered the six club rally events (based in Wales and Norfolk) so she could get started in the ERC. Her dad became her mentor and even her co-driver. Eurosport gave her media training and she found a coach in former rally driver Urmo Aava.
Catie made her debut in the ERC in the Ypres Rally with Saintéloc Junior Team in a Peugeot 208 VTi R2. There, she met her co-driver Anne Stein. Sadly, the race would end badly for her as she got one of her wheels in sodden grass which caused her to roll the car and damage the electricity pylon. Despite all that, she finished 65th out of 67, being the only woman to complete the rally.
Her second and final of the 2016 season was in Liepaja. Again, scoring points in this race and earning enough to win the FIA European Rally Championship Ladies Trophy.
In 2017 she raced for Saintéloc again, and she became a Peugeot UK Brand ambassador. Next to that, she entered the Peugeot Rally Academy. At her first competitive race that year, at the Rallye Acores, she finished fifth because of an accident. The next race she entered, the Rally Islas Canarias, she ended 68th. Sadly, the race after that she had to retire due to an accident.
She took a stage class victory at the fourth race, despite changing a broken wheel. Her participation in the Rally di Rome Capitale was doubtful because of budget problems, but she entered the race shortly before departure. Overall, she took wins in city and night stages in the Ladies Trophy rankings. She ended that year ranked 14th out of 27.
2018 saw a continuation of the good results of that previous year. Racing with Saintéloc again, she had a total of four victories in the Ladies Championship that year, but sadly she placed second in the championship overall. She ended up being 8th in the overall standing of the Junior (under 27) Championship, with four fifth place finishes.
In 2019 she continued to race in the ERC3 category, having a new Co-Driver named Veronica Engan. Even getting a new sponsor that year, Red Bull UK. She won the 2019 ERC Ladies Category.
She got back in the car to race in 2021, this time competing for Andretti United in the all-electric Extreme-E series, alongside Timmy Hansen. She won a stage of the Arctic X-Prix this year, and had to dive into the freezing waters.
And she’s on the telly!
Catie even got a job as one of the original hosts of the CBeebies programme of Catie’s Amazing Machines in 2018, in which she drove large and fast machines. Sadly, she opted to focus on her motorsport career and left the series after 2018.