Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Catie Munnings

Catie Munnings won the European Ladies’ Rally Championship in 2016, aged eighteen and in only her second season of rallying.

She started in 2015, driving a Peugeot 106 in British club rallies, with her father Chris as her co-driver. Chris used to run the Brands Hatch and London rally schools, so Catie grew up around rally cars from a very young age.

Her best finish was 26th in the Lynn Stages Rally.  During the season, she tested a Peugeot, and so impressed watching team managers that they decided to put her straight into the European Championship the following season. In order to be eligible, she needed to have completed six rallies, so she did the Donington Park and Red Dragon events near the start of the year, to add to her four finishes in 2015.

Her ERC car was a Peugeot 208, co-driven by the more experienced German, Anne Katharina Stein. She won two Ladies ERC awards, in the Ypres Rally and the Liepāja Rally in Latvia. In Belgium, she was 65th, seventh in the Junior class and eleventh in ERC3. Her Coupe des Dames was assured when Melissa Debackere retired with accident damage. In Latvia, she was 25th overall, ninth in the ERC3 class, and eighth in the Junior class. She was 16th in the Junior standings at the end of the year, and won the Ladies’ championship.

In 2017, she declined a university place in favour of continuing her rally career. In June 2016, she had hurried back from Ypres in order to take an A-level exam.

Catie’s 2017 season was her second in the ERC with the Saintéloc Junior team. At the beginning of the season, she retired from the Azores Rally after an accident, and finished the Islas Canarias Rally in 68th place, out of 89 finishers. She did three more ERC rallies, the best of which was her last event of the season, the Roma Capitale Rally. She was 25th overall, second lady, and seventh in the Junior Under 27 class. Tamara Molinaro took her Ladies' crown, but she was the runner-up at the end of the year.

She was third in the 2018 ERC3 class, driving the Sainteloc Peugeot again. Her best overall finish was 17th in the Rally Liepaja. She was also 26th in Rally Poland.

At the end of 2018, she announced that she had joined the Red Bull extreme sports family, the first female rally driver to do so.

As well as rallying, Catie has a burgeoning media career. She is the presenter of "Catie's Amazing Machines", a show for preschoolers about cars, planes and other machinery.

(Image from http://www.sportsister.com)

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