Back for its second season, Extreme E returned to Saudi Arabia for the Desert X Prix this weekend, held in a new location of NEOM in the northwest of the country.
Getting to know Catie Munnings
Hi Catie! Can you tell us a bit about yourself such as where did you grow up, do you have any siblings and how did you first get into motorsport?
“I grew up in Kent and lived on a disused farm but was constantly surrounded by animals - I really wanted to be a vet when I was younger. That’s why I really love the conservation side of Extreme E too. My dad was a rally driver and I used to go to work with him at the rally school. When I was about 10, he started a motorsport entertainment company and I would thrash around the woods on quad bikes in my school uniform as soon as I got home! It all started as a hobby, which is the nice part - it never felt like I was in training for anything.”
What is your first racing memory?
“Probably trying to get my international license for rally - it was a last minute decision to enter the European Championship, and I had no experience at all. The regulations meant I had to finish five rallies in the UK to get enough signatures for my license, we were running out of time as there were only five rallies left of the season - so we drove all over the UK to enter the club rallies with my dad as co-driver (bad idea...!) He definitely belongs on the driving side too! Let’s say we had a few navigation miscommunications in the car!”
Who was your idol growing up and if you could invite three people to a dinner party (dead or alive), who would they be and why?
“Jessica Ennis. I snuck into the Olympics on my sister’s friend’s ticket when she left as I was so desperate to watch her! I then met her when I was nominated for The Sunday Times’ young sportswoman of the year and was completely starstruck. I’d love to have dinner with David Attenborough, Marilyn Monroe, Bear Grylls, Florence Nightingale, Winston Churchill, Neil Armstrong... (sorry, I know you said three!)"
Do you have any secret talents or something that would surprise us about you?
“I was very musical at school - I play the flute, cello, piano and drums. I also love ballet and still have my pointe shoes. Timmy would also confess to you my new hobby of cross stitch - he finds it quite funny!”
What’s your favourite film and do you have a favourite actor?
“Tricky… I do love Top Gun, but I think my favourite is definitely Mumma Mia - Meryl Streep is one of my favourites.”
What about your most embarrassing moment?
“Probably Timmy and Kevin finding out I cross stitch in my spare time! Or maybe spinning 180 degrees during my dad’s driving lesson, the first ever time driving on the road aged 17, literally 200m from our driveway! I’ve also got a couple of rolling a car on a pre-event test stories which are pretty embarrassing…”
Can you tell us something that we wouldn’t know about your team-mate [Timmy Hansen]?
“He has a really good sense of humour, like a British sense of humour, which is sooo important! He’s also a really big family man, he’ll always be on FaceTime showing his little boy our car or making sure he’s up early enough to FaceTime him before he goes off to school, even when he’s driving all day - it’s really cool!”
Do you have any bad habits?
“I'm a perfectionist and overworking is probably what my family would say. Apparently I also never do the lids up properly on sauces, which gets messy! Does waking up early on the weekends count? Oh, and maybe shoe shopping?!”
If you could attend any sporting event in the world, what would it be?
“I love watching DH skiing, but I’ve never seen it live.”
If you had a time machine and could go back to any point in history, when would it be and why?
“Probably ancient Egypt times, to see the pyramids being built. I’d love to go back to the Gatsby era, it seems like people looked after themselves a lot more - and I really love that. Also the war, I think it would be powerful to see what it was really like, I’ve also got so much respect for what they did to survive, It’s fascinating to learn about. I think we’re all capable of so much more than we think and that comes out in testing times.”
Where is the most memorable place you’ve been and where are you most looking forward to visiting with Extreme E this year?
“Rally has taken me to some amazing locations and working with Red Bull has also given me some awesome experiences from literally racing around the rim of the Volcano in the Azores, to the military ground in Cyprus. Experience wise, I think the 'flying bulls’ cutting the engine and diving over the Alps in a stunt plane was up there.”
Finally, who do you see as your biggest competitor in Extreme E?
“I think season one is exciting because the field is so diverse - from Rally, RX, Racing, Offroad - we really don’t know who will suit the format best. One thing I do know is Timmy and I are really excited to bring our hunger for it to the table!”
Follow Catie on Instagram HERE.