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Fri 09 Jun 2023

Catie Munnings returns to RX2e with Hansen junior team #YellowSquad

Catie Munnings will rejoin the FIA RX2e Championship this year, after confirming her participation in at least the opening two rounds of the campaign with Hansen Motorsport junior outfit, #YellowSquad.

Catie Munnings will rejoin the FIA RX2e Championship this year, after confirming her participation in at least the opening two rounds of the campaign with Hansen Motorsport junior outfit, #YellowSquad.

Growing up on a farm, Munnings got used to thrashing around on quad bikes from a young age before beginning to enter local motorsport events across the UK. Aged 18, she made her FIA European Rally Championship debut on Belgium’s Ypres Rally in 2016, going on to lift the ERC Ladies’ Trophy later that same season – making her the first British driver to clinch a European Rally Championship crown in 49 years.

No stranger to electric motorsport, she has been a regular front-runner in Extreme E since the series’ inception in 2021, partnering 2019 FIA World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen to third in the standings in the inaugural campaign with Andretti United and winning the Arctic X Prix in Greenland along the way.

Her signing for #YellowSquad is significant. Current Hansen Motorsport Team Manager Susann Hansen became the first and so far only female to win a European rallycross title when she secured 1400 Cup class honours in 1994. Continuing that legacy, Munnings will be the first female to drive within the wider Hansen Motorsport family in a decade, when she lines up in the 270kW (362bhp), four-wheel-drive, all-electric RX2e car for the 2023 curtain-raiser in Hell next weekend (17-18 June).

Last season, the 25-year-old dipped her toe into the water in RX2e with a one-off outing at Höljes in Sweden, where she was classified eighth. Having since re-acclimatised herself with the series’ single-spec ZEROID X1 during an ice-racing event in Andorra over the winter and more recently a private test at Spain’s Calafat Circuit, she is excited to take to the track in Norway to continue her rallycross apprenticeship alongside #YellowSquad stablemate Isak Sjökvist, last year’s championship runner-up.

“I have a very unique position working with Timmy Hansen, who’s been my team-mate in Extreme E for three years now, and it seems like the natural progression to continue working with the wider Hansen team outside of that,” Munnings reflected. “I’m looking forward to building upon the relationship I already have with the family and team.

“It’s been a big aim of mine for some time to race in a major rallycross series. RX2e is very competitive and the perfect feeder series to World RX, which in my opinion is one of the most exciting and technically challenging championships around.

“I’m enjoying driving electric cars and learning how they work; there are a lot of different settings you can adjust with the way the powertrain and energy system work, so I’m looking forward to leaning on the Hansens’ experience while learning from some of the most experienced spotters and team members in the sport.

“#YellowSquad has a wealth of knowledge, and I think this programme is the most effective way for me to develop my skills, while also having a good chance of challenging for some decent results.

“My mission is always to do as well as possible and to keep developing my side-by-side racecraft. I’ve had quite a bit of that in the last few years in the big Extreme E cars, but it will be important to develop it in the smaller, nimbler ZEROID X1.

“I really enjoyed the test at Calafat; it’s pretty rare for me to have a day where you go through the different set-ups and get to understand the car away from a racing environment. It always impresses me how fast it feels when you accelerate for the first time on asphalt, and I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun this year!”

“We’re delighted to have Catie join #YellowSquad for at least the first two rounds of RX2e,” added Team Manager, Eric Färén. “Having two drivers in the team is always mutually beneficial, so we can all work together to get the most out of the weekends.

“Although Hell will be new to Catie, we’ve had good success there in recent years and will work to get her up-to-speed as quickly as possible, while she has already raced at Höljes, which will really help. It’s also great that Catie has such a strong relationship with the wider team. We can’t wait to take on this competitive field in Norway and see where it takes us.”